An Additional Restraining Order Cannot Be Issued If A Domestic Violence Case Is Pending

Interviewer: Let’s say there is a domestic violence case that had already occurred; now that spouse that had previously accused me could persist and contact me over and over again maybe to get me into deeper trouble, just out of spite or something?

Brett Hollett: If the case is still pending, they’re not going to issue an additional restraining order. However, if the case is still pending, the judge may tell both parties they need to refrain from contacting each other. This order can remain in effect during the pendency of the case and if the other party continues to violate the order, we can bring that to the court’s attention.

The Process of Expungement for Domestic Violence Charges in Alabama

Interviewer: How would you be able to expunge a domestic violence case and how much would it cost them aside from attorney’s fees? What are some of the costs associated with that and what’s the process? How long would they have to wait, for instance?

Brett Hollett: It depends. The only domestic violence charge that is eligible to be expunged at this time is DV 3, the misdemeanor charge, and it would depend on the outcome of the case. The waiting period required prior to filing for expungement is dependent on how the case was disposed. For example if the case was disposed of due to you completing some kind of diversion program, or whether it was disposed of because the state decided to no longer pursue with the matter or if it was dismissed either with or without prejudice all can affect the timing of expunging a record.

If An Individual Has Been Convicted of a Domestic Violence Case, They Are Not Eligible To Have Their Case Expunged

All those things have implications as to how long you’d have to wait before you can file for an expungement but at the minimum, it’s going to be at least 90 days in some instances and then in some instances, up to a year or longer before you can file for an expungement but you’re looking at $300 just for filing fees and the expungement plus you’ll have to get certified records of the arrest but the main thing to remember is that it can only be for an arrest and not a conviction. So, if anybody has been convicted of domestic violence, they’re not eligible to have their case expunged.

Mitigating Factors in a Domestic Violence Case

Interviewer: Let’s say, you’re working with someone who is in a domestic violence dispute, now what are some things that may be able to help their case?

Brett Hollett: It’s really going to be case and fact-dependent. The nature of the relationship between the defendant and the victim is important. The victim’s background may also be important – when I say that, I mean has the victim made domestic violence allegations in the past? Were those allegations substantiated? All those things can come into play. Were there witnesses? If so, what are those witnesses going to say? Have they given statements? Does the physical evidence support the victim’s claim? If the physical evidence doesn’t match up to what the accuser is saying, the prosecution is going to have problems proving their case and that can lead to positive results.

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