So, you were charged with domestic violence assault last night in Portland after a great night of carousing with your wife in the Old Port. You live at home with your 2 children, a dog, a cat and a BIG mortgage. Now that you've been charged with a serious crime, your bail conditions prohibit you from having any contact with your wife and you're also not allowed to go home. What do you do next???
Well, the obvious move is to get in touch with a qualified criminal defense attorney. The attorney should be able to amend your bail conditions. However, with that said, judges are extremely leery about amending bail to allow contact between the husband (defendant) and wife (victim) where there is an allegation of domestic violence.
Now, there are steps to take to get you back home with your family.
- Move to amend bail to allow contact for the purposes of arranging visitation with the children. This is the first step in getting back home. The court will allow you to see your children and possibly speak with your wife to arrange visitation. If this goes well, in a few weeks another bail modification can be sought through the court.
- Move to amend bail to allow telephonic contact with your wife and contact in public places. While you're still not home yet, at least you can now speak with your wife, meet with her and discuss life's important issues. If things go well, the court is more likely to allow you to move back home. But keep in mind that this is a LONG process.
- Move to amend bail to allow full contact and back living at home. This is the toughest hurdle to overcome. Judges are terrified that if you're back in the home, something terrible might happen to the "victim". If you can convince the judge that you're not a threat and that being in the home is in the best interests of your wife and the children, a judge may consider it. However, you can bet that the DA will fight you tooth and nail about this issue so be prepared.
Anytime you're removed from the home for a domestic violence charge, it is a real challenge to get the fences mended and back in the home. Oftentimes, it can be a process that takes place over the course of months. Many times, both parties (defendant and victim) have to get their own attorneys involved in order to advocate for reunification. However, if you get the right attorney involved and you follow his recommendations, you stand a decent chance of getting back into the home before the case is finally resolved in court.