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Ohio Domestic Violence -- My Friend Was Arrested

If a friend of yours was arrested for domestic violence, it is imperative that he or she get legal counsel.  Our other pages describe just a small part of this complicated law.

End of the world?

A defendant often feels the arrest has brought an end to life as he or she knew it.  The arrest will turn the defendant's world upside-down.  It is a life changing experience.  Your friend will need your support.

End of the relationship?

The domestic violence laws are first designed to protect the alleged victim.  A secondary hope is that the law will work to get a relationship the help it needs to recover from the upset that has occurred.

That being said ... what of the kids?

In other ways, domestic violence laws can pave the way to splitting the relationship.

Domestic violence laws first protect the alleged victim.  It does that by separating the defendant from the alleged victim.  Under a court order that prohibits the alleged victim from talking to the defendant, it is not possible to work out the problems that led to this charge.  That must wait until later.  In many cases, it must wait until much later.

In cases where there are children, the court assigned the domestic violence often will not want to litigate custody.  With the parties who had been cooperating in caring for the children now forced apart, the load for the children falls on one party alone.  That pressure is enough to cause many serious issues to arise.  Who can care for the children while the alleged victim works?  Who will pay for the extra costs?  Where will the money come from?  Who will make up the earnings of the defendant now in jail?  These are crushing issues that must be worked out quickly.

Sometimes the prosecution refuses to discuss custody, demanding that the proper forum for those issues are a domestic relations court.  The prosecution might advise the alleged victim and defendant to file for divorce and have that court determine custody.  Only then will the domestic violence court allow shared parenting.  In that situation the laws foment splitting relationships and ultimately divorce.

Marriage counseling?

In the presence of a Temporary Protection Order nothing is possible until after the domestic violence case is resolved.  However, nothing is stopping the alleged victim from seeking counseling without the defendant in the same office.  Nothing is stopping the defendant from seeking counseling without the alleged victim present.

Effect on employment?

A domestic violence prior is a serious mark on one's record and can carry a significant stigma.

The defendant

Expect your friend to be frightened and confused.  These laws are beyond complicated.  The issues are often too numerous for the lay person to manage.  Having now experience jail, the thought of going back is frightening.  The concern for loved ones and children can be overwhelming.  Your friend is going through what is probably the darkest time of his or her life.  Your friend needs you.

If you friend is in jail, try to make contact.  The jail will have visitation.  They will often take messages to your friend.  Having someone on the outside who can begin the process of putting your friend's life back together will mean a lot to your friend.


Back to the Domestic Violence Page