Criminal proceedings and Domestic Relations often go hand in hand. Many people incur criminal charges as part of the divorce process or during custody and visitation disputes. Jilted spouses are quick to run to the Magistrate, often filing bogus or mundane criminal charges out of spite. When you are facing criminal charges, this may impact the underlying custody or visitation cases.
Some of the most common criminal charges that pop up in custody proceedings include; Assault and Battery, Drunk and Disorderly, Misuse of Telephonic Communications, and Larceny. When people are splitting up, things are often said or done which could potentially open them up to criminal liability. Most of these charges are misdemeanors. Many misdemeanors carry the possibility of jail time. Whether or not your charge carries potential jail time is determined by the severity of the offense. There are four levels of misdemeanors, with Class 1 being the most severe.
These criminal proceedings can be taken into consideration when dealing with custody and divorce proceedings. The reason for a breakup may impact distribution of property or division of debts. Additionally, some crimes may make one parent seem unfit to care for their child. It is important that you handle these matters immediately, prior to the Domestic Relations matters making it before the Court.
In order to handle these proceedings, seek out a local Criminal Defense attorney to help you work out a deal with the Commonwealth Attorney. Some cases may be dismissed, others deferred, and even others may be reduced to a different charge. It is ultimately up to the Commonwealth Attorney to agree to these outcomes.
Even if you handle these cases in advance, the other party can still talk about the things that were done in front of the Judge handling the Domestic Relations matters. That is why it is also important to have a Family Law attorney to help mitigate that damage.
To summarize; if you are facing criminal proceedings that arose out of a Domestic Relations disputes, immediately seek out an attorney who can help you handle both areas of law. It is ideal that the criminal matters are taken care of in advance as to mitigate any potential impact they may have.