There is nothing more difficult than losing your child when you are charged with domestic violence. Society at large takes domestic violence charges very seriously, and you may find yourself to be facing the serious consequences of these charges whether you are guilty or not. Worst of all, you may lose custody of your children.
A difficult aspect of a domestic violence charge is that many people will assume you are guilty before you are even convicted or even face your trial. Our court system is meant to be fair and just, and it is unlikely that a judge will deny you access to your children without taking a look at the evidence presented. However, they may grant a temporary award of custody to the child’s other parent.
While temporary awards of custody are, as the name implies, temporary, they can quickly snowball into something far worse. Once temporary custody is established, the court will want to make a more permanent decision, and your charge will come into play during these proceedings. A judge’s job when it comes to determining custody is to take the child’s needs and safety into consideration. If you are perceived as a threat, then the judge may feel you are not fit to have custody and it may impact your ability to receive visitation.
What the Judge Takes into Consideration
The judge looking over your custody case will have to review several factors before determining custody. After all, there are many options when creating a custody plan. You could have joint custody, meaning both parents are actively involved in the child’s life. One parent could receive sole custody, but the other may still be given visitation rights. Or you could lose the right to see your child altogether.
Because there are so many options and nuances when it comes to custody rights, the judge must evaluate every piece of relevant evidence. They will want to consider:
- Whether it is clear that having you in the child’s life is in the child’s best interest
- Whether you have completed programs related to your charge that are meant to better you
- Whether you are on probation, and if so, whether you are complying with the probation requirements
- Whether the evidence for your charge clearly points to a conviction
- Whether you have committed violent acts in the past
It is possible the judge will choose not to make a decision until after your trial and, instead, allow the child’s other parent to keep temporary custody. However, trials can take months, sometimes even years, so waiting means you may miss important milestones in your child’s life. A parent’s worst nightmare is finally reuniting with their child and realizing their child doesn’t recognize them.
What You Can Do
Following an arrest for domestic violence, you will be given a bail hearing with a judge. That judge will use California’s bail schedules, as well as other factors including your past criminal record and whether you are a flight risk, to determine how high to set your bail. Once your bail is set, you should immediately call an experienced bond agent to pay your bail and get you out of jail.
Being stuck in jail will not help your chances of seeing your children again. While it is likely that a temporary award of custody will be issued after your arrest, being free from jail will give you a better chance at winning your case. It is difficult to work on both a child custody case and a domestic violence defense strategy when you are stuck behind bars.
Thankfully, Balboa Bail Bonds is here to help. We work to get you out of jail quickly, and our agents can provide further support once you are free, helping guide you through the criminal justice process. We are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, and serve San Diego, Riverside, and Orange County. To get in touch with one of our excellent agents, all you have to do is call (619) 760-2222.