If you are an upstanding citizen, you likely thought there would never be a reason you would receive domestic violence charges. Yet, you might have gotten into a spat with your spouse or partner, and they decided to call the police on you. Regardless of your actions, domestic violence accusations are treated with gravity in Montana. It is important, then, to understand the serious effects that domestic violence charges could have on your life if you have received them.
The effects of protective orders
In Montana, a domestic violence arrest can have wide-ranging consequences on your freedom and livelihood. Likely, the court will issue a no contact order afterward, which aims to keep your accuser safe. No contact orders last for 72 hours, or until you make an appearance in court, whichever comes first.
Your accuser may also seek – and receive – a temporary order of protection against you. This order can last for up to 20 days, and it will enjoin you from harming, threatening or contacting your accuser. Yet, it will also curb many of your freedoms and privileges, including:
- Accessing any residence that you share with your accuser
- Going to or near any place that your accuser frequents
- Surrendering any firearms allegedly used in the incident
- Transferring the possession of any personal property that you share with your accuser without a police officer’s assistance
Within 20 days of the temporary order’s issuance, you will attend a hearing to determine whether your accuser will receive a final order of protection against you. If they do, you will be bound to the same restrictions set forth in the temporary order. The court can also subject you to any other restrictions it deems appropriate at its discretion.
The effects of domestic violence convictions
Depending on the nature of your domestic violence charges, it is possible they could end in conviction. If this happens, you will likely have to pay a fine and spend time in jail. You will also have to attend counseling. And if the court determines your children saw or heard the alleged incident, their presence could affect the nature of your penalties as well.
Because a domestic violence arrest can have profound effects, you will want to fight any charges you receive to the best of your ability. By consulting a legal professional, you can understand your options for mitigating their impact.