Interviewer: When are children considered to be involved in a case of domestic violence and when are they not?
Attorney Churak: The children are always involved. You can’t have an assault on a child. What happens in that case is it is considered injury to a child and that becomes basically a felony. So in that situation, it’d be a felony offense, assault on the child.
There are situations, though, where the child may have been in the premises when the assault occurred, and then you have to wind up dealing with Child Protective Services on those particular issues. Even if the child wasn’t at the house, if the parent obtains a protective order, what happens is it keeps that person from having the child around them, that they can’t actually have contact with the child. The child can be directly involved or indirectly involved.
Interviewer: Are you able to intervene to lessen any restrictions in a case?
Attorney Churak: Sometimes if it’s a bad enough case an attorney can help. You never want to agree to a protective order because that’s like saying you did it. Sometimes you can work out something in terms of an agreement where it doesn’t become a protective order, it becomes a temporary order, and we can resolve it that way, so everything’s subject to negotiation if you’re dealing with matters like that.