DV is a Crime: What happens when there’s an Arrest?
Court Advocacy is here to Help!
by Nancy Fryer
Imagine your partner just got taken away in handcuffs. How did it come to this? Sure, you’ve been arguing about money and he accused you of cheating (again). But an arrest? That just doesn’t happen to people like you. You’ve never had so much as a parking ticket.
A million questions run through your head. What’s going to happen to him? How long will he be in jail? Who’s going to pay the mortgage next week? Will I be kicked out? After all, he insisted that everything be in his name only, so do I even have any rights? All he ever lets me have is the “allowance” he gives me. He deposits my paycheck in his account. I don’t have a penny to my name!
This is no hypothetical. Rise advocates see situations like this every week. Do you know what she can do? If not, you aren’t alone. Most people wouldn’t have a clue where to start. That’s why Rise is here! You probably know that we respond to the immediate crisis but did you know we also help our clients understand the criminal legal system? Once we’ve addressed their immediate physical and mental safety, shelter and food, there may still be months of lingering issues.
Do I want him to come home?
Do I want him to get help?
To be punished?
Is this my chance to get free, to get away from him?
What about the kids? They love him. Heck, I love him too.
I just wish he’d stop controlling me and blaming me for everything that goes wrong. Uhh. . . It’s soo complicated!
Support is here! A Rise advocate can help you look at ALL of your options and set YOUR priorities. You don’t have to make all of these big decisions right away. We’ll help you take it one step at a time and work toward your eventual long-term goal. No matter what obstacles lie in your path, we can help you navigate them to achieve YOUR goals.
The criminal legal system is just one of many systems you may need to interact with. Since you have no criminal history, it may be like a foreign language with a new cast of characters and strange rules. That’s why we have a court advocate to explain the process, how you can ask for what YOU want or stay out of it altogether if that’s what you choose. You have rights, but you need to know what they are for them to help you! We’ll explain them.
First up: When does he get out and what will it cost? Our court advocate explains PR (personal recognizance) and surety bonds. Will I be safe? A criminal protection order will be issued; but what will it mean? Can he come home? You get to have a say in that. What do YOU want?
Next: How can my voice be heard? Do I have to go to court or can I just tell someone what I want? Can I avoid court altogether?
Finally: What will be the outcome of his case? Will he get punishment/jail time? Will he get help dealing with his anger, his drug addiction, his violence? You have the right to give your input.
Aftermath: What happens when he doesn’t follow through on court orders? Is there anything I can do?
The answers to these questions and many more vary. Each of our clients is unique, with their own set of concerns. While they all have basic rights, we tailor our services to meet each client’s needs and support them in getting what they want, staying safe, achieving their personal goals, and moving on with their lives in a positive direction. That looks different for each person. And that’s the way it should be.
You can reach an advocate anytime day or night by calling 970-264-9075.