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Domestic violence charges can affect child custody

A Riverside resident probably recognizes naturally that a charge related to alleged domestic violence is a serious matter. Like any other criminal charge, a conviction, even on a first-time misdemeanor offense, can lead to jail time, probation with restrictive and costly terms, and fines.

Additionally, particularly in these times, a substantiated accusation of domestic violence can ruin a person's professional and personal life. A conviction may cost the accused his or her job, and it may make it difficult to find future opportunities.

Moreover, even a credible charge of domestic violence can make it very difficult for a mom or dad to get custody, even if it is just some decision-making authority, over their children.

Specifically, under California law, a parent who has been convicted of domestic violence in the previous 5 years is presumed not to be a good custodian for the children. While this presumption can be overcome, to do so requires going through a year-long counseling program and taking other steps.

While the law does not also prohibit visits, a court can and likely will take domestic violence in to consideration when deciding how to handle a parent's visitation time.

This is just one more reason why a Riverside resident, if he or she is a parent, will want to be sure to mount a defense to domestic violence allegations that is as effective as possible. While in some cases it may be best to admit that one made a mistake and work on rebuilding his or her life, it is also an unfortunate reality that some people, perhaps to get a leg up in a custody proceeding, will lie or exaggerate in order to get an innocent person in trouble for domestic violence that they commit. In either circumstance, getting the help of an experienced criminal law attorney is a good idea.

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