Getting picked up on charges of domestic violence may have far-reaching consequences. Not only is your freedom in question, but so too may your legal custody arrangement for your children. Domestic violence is one offense that Alaska family law does not take lightly.
Whether the charge is bogus or legitimate, you have a right to know how things will proceed on both fronts. The criminal courts do not allow many chances when it comes to this charge, and often favor the victim's account unless there is evidence to refute it.
What counts as domestic violence?
The legal definition of domestic violence is pretty broad. In short, it states that any physical or emotional act against a co-habitant to establish control and power is abuse. Often, even the threat of violence or physical intimidation is enough to face a charge of domestic violence.
What can the other party do?
Typically, the other party will file a protective order against you if there is enough evidence that a threat or act has occurred. A protective order means you cannot go within a certain radius of the victim unless a law enforcement official escorts you. If you need to remove personal property from the dwelling, you will need to call on them to get you in and out without violating the order. Ignoring the order is grounds for an arrest warrant.
How does this affect my legal custody?
Alaska law is fairly clear on their zero-tolerance policy when it comes to domestic violence. In fact, one party only needs to allege something happened for a court to require remediation. You may need to go through a series of applicable classes such as an alcohol recovery program or a batterer's intervention program. You may not only lose custody if you do not complete the court-ordered plan, you may also lose visitation rights.
If you face domestic violence allegations and you have children, you may need to engage the services of an attorney to help you out. Completing the court's process is essential to continue spending time with your children.