Victims of domestic violence often need legal representation too

Why would the victim of a domestic violence assault need an attorney? Because without one, you stand a good chance of being victimized again in other ways.

Immediately after a violent incident, the police may issue an emergency protective order. It's designed to keep the person who assaulted you away from you. If you want the protection to continue, you only have a 72-hour window to ask a judge for a temporary restraining order that is longer lasting and more far-reaching.

TROs aren't something that judges issue lightly. They can cause the accused—who isn't yet convicted of anything—serious problems with an employer if he or she is required to carry a weapon for work. They also impose significant restrictions on his or her freedom of movement and other actions.

Because of this, a request for a TRO can fail if it doesn't include all of the elements that a judge needs to approve it. An attorney can help make sure that you have all of those elements in place when your case is presented.

In addition, many domestic violence victims find themselves facing the possibility of unemployment. While you've done nothing wrong, employers may think of you as a liability and find a way to justify your termination.

Employers may feel that your domestic and legal situations are interfering with your ability to concentrate and making you less productive. They may resent the time you have to take off work to deal with legal consultations and court hearings. The time you take to file for services that are available to domestic violence victims or for ongoing psychological counseling could be seen by employers as just another day you aren't available for work or another way you complicate their schedule.

You could also be seen as a safety risk. Employers may fear that you'll "bring the violence with you" to work. Your employer may be afraid that your abuser will show up on the job and end up hurting you and others right there.

California's labor codes provide specific protections for domestic violence victims, but you may need an attorney's help to make sure that you aren't misled about your long-term rights.

In our firm, we handle cases for victims of domestic violence with an eye toward both their immediate needs and the long-term consequences of the abuse. For more information, please visit our page.

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