If your spouse has obtained a restraining order against you, it’s critical that you contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale domestic violence defense lawyer as soon as possible – even if you haven’t yet been arrested.
The holidays can be a stressful time. Sometimes, a domestic incident –or accusations of one — can result in legal trouble. Allegations made in these requests may be completely unsubstantiated. But failure to contest them can result in a forfeiture of your rights. Additionally, these orders may result in interference with child custody or visitation, your ability to possess weapons and could block you from attending certain important functions or events.
A prominent pastor out of Orlando is currently battling such allegations made in a petition that was granted by his wife and mother of his three children recently, following the revelation that he had recently had an affair with a church administrator – the day before the couple’s 13th wedding anniversary.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the pastor, whose father heads a mega-church and is a spiritual adviser to President Barack Obama, resigned from his church late last months after the affair was revealed. Less than a week later, his wife came forward alleging extreme violence, erratic behavior and alcohol abuse.
His wife now alleges that after several happy years together, the abuse began early last year.
She included photographs of bruises on her arms that she contends were inflicted during an argument with he husband the day before Valentine’s Day last year. She alleged that her husband kicked her and then pinned her down on the bed by her arms while screaming and cursing at her.
A month later, she says, the couple was staying at a friend’s home and her husband began drinking heavily. At one point, he reportedly lamented that he had no way out of the marriage, a statement that prompted her to sleep in a locked bedroom with her cellphone nearby in case she needed to call for help.
Then last summer, she said, she called an associate pastor to their home after her husband allegedly threatened and insulted her after he had been drinking heavily.
Then recently, she said she returned home from a day trip she had taken with her daughters to find her husband passed out from intoxication and their 5-year-old son unattended. The pair argued, and her husband reportedly left the home with two weapons in his possession. When family members came to the home that night, they reportedly discovered syringes, “vials of liquids” and pills throughout his possessions.
She also alleged he typically drinks two bottles of whiskey every night. She referenced a suicide note she discovered last spring that gave instructions on what to do if he died, expressing grief that he had become a burden on those he loves.
Based on this, the judge granted her a temporary restraining order and scheduled a follow-up hearing to determine whether it should be made permanent.
A day after those allegations were made public, the pastor and his attorney responded, saying that none of it was true and he had never physically harmed her or the children and had never threatened to do so either.
Given the timing of the affair discovery, the immediate filing of a domestic violence restraining order in this case seems suspect.
Sometimes, these orders are filed just after an arrest. Sometimes, they can end up leading to an arrest. Whatever your situation, contact an attorney as soon as possible.
If you’ve been arrested, call Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. The Ansara Law Firm serves Broward, Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Isaac Hunter’s wife files domestic violence petition against Summit Church founder, Dec. 5, 2012, By Jeff Kunerth, Orlando Sentinel
More Blog Entries:
Thanksgiving and Other Holidays See Spike in Domestic Violence Arrests, Nov. 22, 2012, Fort Lauderdale Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Blog