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CA domestic violence attorneyThese are troubling times for immigrants living in the United States. While extreme hostility towards immigrants has become the norm in political speech and policy in recent years, non-U.S. citizens still have many rights. And one of these rights includes being able to not only leave an abusive relationship, but to pursue financial damages in civil court as well. As a non-U.S. citizen, if you are a victim of domestic violence, do not hesitate to contact a San Jose domestic violence attorney as soon as possible.

Increased ICE Presence in Family Court Leads to Fear of Speaking Out Against Domestic Violence

Since President Trump took office at the beginning of 2017, the increased presence of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at civil and criminal court has caused immigrants to stop appearing in court as well as reporting a crime, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). One of the most affected areas of law has been family court, which is drastically decreasing the chances for domestic violence victims of finding relief and compensation for their tremendous damages. A survey of law enforcement officers, judges, and prosecutors found a striking difference between 2016 and 2017, as described below.

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Posted on in Family Law

California family lawyerAs caretakers of their senior citizen parents, adult children have many responsibilities that range from making meals and ensuring that prescriptions are taken, to arranging doctors appointments and helping their parent up and out of chairs. As elder parents grow older, they can become even frailer, their balance may fade, and generally even their cognitive abilities diminish. With poor balance, skin that breaks easily, and a poor understanding of what is going on if they suffer from dementia, accidents can mistakenly lead to domestic violence charges of elder abuse. If you have been wrongly accused of domestic violence, you need to speak to a San Jose family attorney as soon as possible.

Wrongly Accusing a Family Member

Elder abuse is certainly a problem in California and throughout the U.S., and family members of the victim are often the perpetrators. Doctors and paramedics are sometimes quick to jump to conclusions because they do see real domestic violence on a regular basis, and may inform law enforcement of the incident. You may have just been taking your elderly parent to the hospital for stitches after they stumbled and fell, but you could end up in jail if things go wrong. Even worse, the elderly person may not fully understand, or remember, what actually happened. Law enforcement may even coax out information from the elderly person by leading them on; their testimony may have been completely fabricated.

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California domestic violence laws, California family lawyerThe most common civil harassment, like domestic violence, consists of stalking, threats, sexual assault, assault, battery, and other forms of serious harassment. Harassment is defined as unlawful actual violence or a credible threat of real violence, with those threats seriously intimidating, harassing, or annoying someone, and there being no good reason for the harassment.The main difference between civil harassment and domestic violence is that in the case of civil harassment, you and the perpetrator must have never been in a domestic partnership, never dated, and never had an intimate relationship. However, according to California law, civil harassment can be inflicted by a relative such as an aunt, uncle, or cousin, but not from a closer blood relationship, such as a brother or sister. Filing a restraining order under California section 527.6 for civil harassment can offer you protection from a distant family member, a neighbor, friend, co-worker, bully, or another person that has made themselves a serious threat to your life. Minors under the age of 12 are also allowed to appear in court to request restraining orders as well.

What Is a Credible Threat of Violence?

In order for civil harassment to have occurred, the harasser must have acted with violence towards you, such as battery or sexual assault, for example, or they must have created a credible threat of violence. A credible threat of violence is doing or saying something in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to be afraid for their safety, or be afraid for the safety of their family. This includes saying threatening things over the phone or in person, sending harassing text messages or emails, harassment through social media, stalking, and following.

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