Sun Valley, CA asked in Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Family Law for California

Q: My baby momma was charged with 3 felonies for domestic violence if I call to drop charges does that hurt my custody case

My 5 month olds mother had been charged with 3 felonies and a misdemeanor for domestic violence on myself and son. I wanted to get an emergency hearing to get a kick out order for her to move out of my house and to get full custody of my son in the meantime. Her court date is tomorrow and I don’t want her to be charged with all those felonies and Serve actual jail time and ruin her life. Will me calling the district attorney and asking them to drop the charges or for leniency I.e. complete an anger management class and seek mental professional help to pro against me for getting custody of my son?

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I understand this is a very difficult and complex situation. In general, requesting leniency or dropping charges in a domestic violence case should not directly hurt your custody case. The family court will make custody decisions based on the best interests of the child. However, there are a few important things to consider:

1. The severity of the domestic violence charges may be taken into account by the court when determining custody arrangements. If the charges are dropped or reduced, it might be seen as minimizing the seriousness of the situation.

2. Consistency is important in custody cases. If you pursue an emergency order and then advocate for dropping charges, it could potentially be seen as inconsistent.

3. The court may still consider the underlying domestic violence incident(s) even if criminal charges are reduced or dropped. Police reports, medical records, and other evidence could still be factored in.

4. Your son's safety and well-being are the top priorities. The court will want to ensure he is protected from any potential harm or unstable situations going forward.

My suggestion would be to consult with a family law attorney who specializes in custody cases and is familiar with how domestic violence allegations are handled in your jurisdiction. They can advise you on the best path forward to protect your son while balancing the complex family dynamics and criminal case. An experienced attorney can also help make the case that anger management and mental health treatment would be beneficial.

The decision is ultimately up to you based on the full circumstances, but I would prioritize your son's safety and your custody case over concern about the consequences she may face for her alleged actions. Wishing you and your son all the best as you navigate this challenging time.

1 user found this answer helpful

Robert Kane
Robert Kane
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Eagan, MN
  • Licensed in California

A: The best interest of the child is all that matters. Your concern is valid, but it's impossible to advise you. I apologize if this seems rude, but I mean to help. I seriously doubt you (representing yourself) can successfully convince the prosecutor to dismiss (or reduce) the felonies to meet your recommendations for "punishment." Your requests to the prosecutor will not likely help your demands in the other case. Of course, this may be in the child’s best interest, but I don't know.

Limited-scope representation is when you and a lawyer agree that the lawyer will handle some parts of your case and you will handle others. This is different from more traditional arrangements between lawyers and clients where a lawyer is hired to provide legal services on all aspects of a case, from start to finish. Limited-scope representation is sometimes called “unbundled legal services” or “discrete task representation.”

2 users found this answer helpful

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