Miami, FL asked in Child Custody, Family Law and Domestic Violence for Puerto Rico

Q: I was given full custody of my children and the same day that I got the full custody, the mother decided to file for DV

I was given full custody of my children and the same day that I got the full custody, the mother decided to file for Domestic Violence against me. The issue is that her claims are false, she said that the supposed events happened in Pennsylvania, and she lives in Puerto Rico. My home is in Pennsylvania and I am wondering if it is even legal to be given a court date in Puerto Rico for a domestic violence allegation that she stated happened in PA. I was never visited by any police officers, was never interviewed or investigated for this allegation. I am representing myself and would like to know how jurisdiction of this works.

1 Lawyer Answer
Nelson Jose Francisco Alvarez-Aponte
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Carolina, PR
  • Licensed in Puerto Rico

A: Hello and thank you for using JUSTIA. In order for the Court in Puerto Rico have jurisdiction over any event said event has to have taken place within Puerto Rico. An event that happened in Pennsylvania would not be litigated in Puerto Rico. The criminal code of Puerto Rico (33LPRA) clearly establishes this fact in article 3.

In any criminal case it is highly recommended that you be represented by an Attorney during the probable cause hearing (34 LPRA 6). This is the inicial hearing where the Court hears the testimony of the victim and/or Police and decides if there exists probable cause to arrest the accused for a criminal act. During this hearing you will not be able to talk nor speak. If probable cause is found a bail will be set and if not paid the accused is placed in jail to await the preliminary hearing set within thirty (30) days from the day jailed. If bail is paid the term is sixty (60) days.

The preliminary hearing is celebrated by the Court to verify if a formal criminal complaint should be filed against the accused. You will need an Attorney for this hearing. If you hire an Attorney for the probable cause hearing you will put an end to this case from day one and avoid further stress. Your freedom is very well worth the $ 1,500 legal fees that an Attorney will charge for this hearing.

Jose M. Rivera Santos agrees with this answer

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