How can I legally protect myself against my abusive father? 4 Answers as of December 15, 2010

I am a sixteen year old minor and was physically assaulted by my father earlier today. Now although I was struck no serious injury was instilled upon me. I did not fight back as I ended the altercation quickly by telling him off. My father with a near certainty suffers from mental disease as my older brother was diagnosed and confirmed with bi polar disorder. I do not wish any jail time or serious legal actions but rather would like to know any options in forced medical treatment. My father was never officially diagnosed and though he did assault me poses no real serious threats. His mental and physical capacity to do serious harm is almost none but would benefit greatly from medical treatment. This is in California.

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Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy
Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy | Ryan P. Murphy
Sorry to hear about the altercation. If you report this incident to the authorities, he will most likely be picked up and sent to jail. If the District Attorney's Office decides to press charges, even when you do not want them to, they will most likely press forward and try to convict your father.

As far as forced medical treatment, that is a very tough thing for you to take on. If he touches you, and you do not like it, you might need to call the police. You need to protect yourself first, and worry about him second. If you ever feel threatened, you might need to call the police.

Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact my office at your earliest convenience.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/15/2010
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
You have no power to force medical treatment or civil commitment upon him, or anyone, unless you are willing to call the police and request he be taken to psychiatric hospital. They would do so only if he appeared clearly to be unable to care for himself or to pose an immanent threat to the safety of himself or others. A domestic argument without injury would not rise to that level. If you are unwilling to file criminal charges of assault, with the police and risk jail for him, then your options are probably for you to leave the residence and environment, or to seek a restraining order against him and try to get him legally removed from the residence. But, if it is his house/home, you would be asking the court to throw him out into the street so you can stay in his home. You, and the court, must also consider the interests of others in the home, for instance, his wife, kids, etc. You can also try to initiate family counseling to work out the issues privately, if you think that could work. There are no easy options for you. And, all the above is premised on the assumption you were actually assaulted violently, and not just disciplined against your wishes.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/14/2010
Tomas M. Flores, Esq.
Tomas M. Flores, Esq. | Tomas M. Flores
I am very sorry to hear about your situation. Fortunately, there are alternatives for you once the state becomes involved in this matter. The first step, unfortunately, is contacting the police. Best of luck to you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/13/2010
Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
I am sorry for you. You cannot get a restraining order because you live in the same house tho you might be able to get a restraining order telling him not to lay a hand on you. If you report him to the cops it will most likely be jail time and a 52 week anger management course If this were happening to me I would tell him that if he ever lays a hand on you again you are going to the police and that you have already documented this beating with a lawyer. Tell him he needs to go to anger management. He can do it through private therapy groups or the court will send him to one for abusive people Explain he'd be better off with the private one as he would not have a record but if he doesn't get some professional help you have no choice but to tell the cops. Do you have a minister or someone else whose wisdom he would respect? What about mom? What about older brother joining you in the confrontation. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/13/2010
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