Can someone get full child custody after a domestic violence charge? 6 Answers as of April 20, 2011

My sister is a victim of DV. He is currently being held in detention and the child is with my sister. What steps must be taken to ensure she has full custody of her child? She wants to give him another chance but with proof of counseling, anger management and the gradual build up of trust over time. What should she do about the charges? I believe the officer mentioned a felony for domestic violence with a bail amount of $50k. I am very concerned as a brother. We are a Christian family with strong morals and do not know what to do. Please any help will be appreciated.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
First, do not let anyone bail out your brother-in-law for at least three days. It is a waste of money. All domestic violence cases are considered felony arrests in some Counties, and a bail of $50,000 is just outrageous. That would cost you $4,000 to $5,000 (a bail bondsman can charge you only 8%, but most are unscrupulous and will charge the full 10%). Even if the District Attorney never filed charges, you would still have to pay the bail bondsman the money for bonding you out of jail. What a waste. If you wait three days, the arrestee will probably be released without having to post bail (on their 'own recognizance'), or would probably not have to post a bond of more than $5,000 (which would cost them $400 - $500, i.e., 8-10%). Your sister should make sure that she has an EPO/CPO ('Criminal Protective Order) from the domestic violence arrest. She should then file for a Temporary Restraining Order in Family Law Court, asking for sole legal and physical custody of the children. She might have to file an Order to Show Cause regarding custody, as well.

As for the charges, it is a tough thing to have a conviction for domestic violence, but you did not give any information regarding the extent of your sister's injuries, so it is impossible to advise you regarding the potential dispositions of that case. It would be far better for your brother-in-law to receive counseling, anger management and other intervention, along with a reduced charge, than to be saddled with a domestic violence charge (PC 273.5 or PC 243(e)(1)), which can definitely affect employment in the future, not to mention prohibit firearms ownership for ten years in California.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/20/2011
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
Your sister should not have any difficulty in obtaining full custody. Your brother in law however has several problems.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/20/2011
Christine D. Thielo
Christine D. Thielo | Law Office of Christine D. Thielo
Your sister will have to file for a Domestic Violence / Retraining Order in Court and ask for custody. Please contact the office to respond to your other questions regarding the anger management and counseling.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/20/2011
Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
There is a legal presumption that anyone convicted of Domestic Violence in the last 5 years, that the court should not award that person custody of a child. Since you are a Christian family, of course the best thing to do is pray. If the perpetrator of the domestic violence is claiming to be a Christian he should be speaking with God, as the fruit in his life does not fit his claim.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/20/2011
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
Contact the local county court's self-help center to request sole custody orders due to the domestic violence. The police should have provide your sister with information re: victim's assistance, including getting sole custody orders. If those avenues don't work, then contact a local family law lawyer. It should be fairly easy to get sole custody orders, including the other terms you mentioned about counseling, anger management, etc. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/20/2011
    Maclean Chung Law Firm
    Maclean Chung Law Firm | G. Thomas MacLean Jr.
    She needs to get a DV restraining order that includes child custody orders. As part of that, he can be required to take anger management classes, and have only supervised visits with the child. This is the fastest and most efficient way to get protection and custody when DV is involved.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/20/2011
Click to View More Answers: