Page 8 - 2011 Guide to Family Violence Laws

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What is in this book?
This book is divided into sections to
make it easier to find the
information you need. The first
section is about the criminal parts
of the family violence law, and the
second section is about the civil
The criminal court system is
where the state prosecutes
people for crimes, such as
assault, and where decisions
are made about whether people
who have been convicted of
crimes should be sent to jail or
receive some other punishment.
The criminal section of this
will answer many of your
questions about police and
arrest, what happens in court,
criminal protective orders and
victim services.
The civil courts are where
people take each other to court
for other kinds of disputes such
as divorces and requests for
Restraining Orders. The civil
section of this
answer many of your questions
about civil restraining orders
(including detailed step-by-step
instructions for obtaining a
restraining order without an
attorney), divorce, custody and
child support.
What if I need more help or have
more questions?
Every situation is unique and this
book may not answer all of your
questions. You may want to contact
a private attorney or a legal aid
office for legal help, or your local
domestic violence agency for
emergency shelter, support and
information. Many other resources
including women's centers, family
counselors, and the Family Violence
Victim Advocates at the court are
available to help you as well. Some
of these resources are listed in the
back of this book.