Legal issues are already tricky, but they can become even more complex if they overlap. For example, family and criminal law sometimes overlap regarding custody and restraining orders.
When two legal issues overlap, they sometimes require a special attorney or more than one legal specialist. The following explains some examples of how legal issues can mix and cause complications for all involved.
Family Court vs. Criminal Court
It’s essential to know the difference between family and criminal court so you can tell whether family and criminal law overlap in your case. Knowing the difference between these two will help you hire the appropriate type of legal specialist for your situation.
Family court deals with a vast assortment of issues relating to the household and family unit. Divorces, custody battles, legal separations, restraining orders, and adoptions are examples of cases a family law court handles. This court also handles paternity and child support issues or disputes.
A family law attorney has experience representing people in these cases. Thus, you’ll want to search for a family law attorney if you have such a case. Be sure to look for years of experience and experience in various subcategories under the family law umbrella.
A criminal court deals with anything considered a crime. This list includes theft, assault, harassment, robbery, drug sales or possessions, and other such crimes.
You have the right to hire a criminal law lawyer if you ever receive a charge from an officer in this category. You risk receiving a conviction and carrying a negative record if you don’t hire such an attorney.
It’s not uncommon for these two types of cases to overlap and require the assistance of various kinds of experts. Sometimes, criminal activities occur within a household, making family and criminal law overlap.
Cases Typically Handled by Criminal Court
The criminal court handles a vast assortment of cases for crimes that can land people in jail for many years. Shoplifting is one of the many types of crimes that the criminal court system handles. Assault and aggravated assault are other types of crimes under this umbrella. Sexual crimes such as molestation also go through the criminal court system.
The criminal court system also handles many white-collar crimes like embezzlement, wage theft, fraud, and similar offenses. A person accused of these offenses must hire a criminal law attorney to ensure they receive a fair sentence.
Cases Typically Handled by Family Court
The family court usually handles cases that involve the family unit or home. Family lawyers often help individuals meet their needs in these areas. Sometimes, family and criminal law overlap. These are some of the types of cases that you would likely see come about in a family court system:
Restraining order: An individual will usually request a restraining order if a spouse or relative makes them feel threatened or in immediate danger. The family court system handles these requests and sometimes grants a temporary order to keep individuals safe. The plaintiff and defendant then appear in court, and the judge decides whether the order will be permanent.
Custody battle: A custody battle sometimes happens when two parents of a child break up and decide they no longer want to live in the same household. Those people may then have different ideas about how they want to raise their children. Family law courts handle many of these cases daily.
Divorce: Family courts also handle divorce proceedings. Divorces occur when two parties can no longer live amicably due to irreconcilable differences, infidelities, and other problems.
Guardianship: Sometimes, the parents of a child will need to place someone else in the care of that child as a guardian. The family court system also handles these requests.
Child support: The parent of a child can request child support if they do not receive enough monetary assistance to rear the child comfortably. The family court judge will review both parents’ income and determine how much the requesting party should receive.
Paternity: A child’s parents may need to establish paternity for child support or visitation purposes. The family court will set a date for all parties to get together and undergo the necessary testing. Once paternity has been established, a judge can decide how child support needs to be paid.
Name change requests: Typically, individuals have their names changed when they marry or after they divorce. However, some situations arise when people want their names changed between those times. The family court handles these requests as well.
A judge listens to the requesting party’s reason for the request and examines the name they intend to assume. The request usually gets approved if the name is acceptable.
Family lawyers can assist with any of the cases mentioned earlier. They can provide guidance, file paperwork, or represent a party by speaking of such a person in a positive light.
How Family and Criminal Cases Overlap
When family and criminal cases overlap, someone usually needs to hire the best criminal defense lawyer and a family law attorney. These types of cases overlap quite frequently, and these are a few examples of how that happens:
Assault and restraining order cases: The most common type of overlap is a situation with assault and a restraining order. This case usually occurs in domestic violence, where one spouse lays hands on another, and the injured spouse files for a restraining order.
The family court takes care of the restraining order. However, assault is a criminal charge that has hefty consequences. The person accused of assault could go to jail for up to a year if it’s a light count of assault. The aggravated assault has a penalty of up to 20 years.
Divorce and theft situations: Family and criminal law sometimes overlap in divorce situations. A criminal act may be the sole reason someone files for divorce. A wife or husband can be guilty of thievery, and the spouse might need to file for divorce and open a criminal charge for theft.
Name change and fraud: A name change request and a fraud charge can also be closely related. This type of case would also require the assistance of a criminal lawyer and a family law attorney.
Family Court Doesn’t Typically Issue Bail
Family court doesn’t typically issue bail when family and criminal law overlap. Bail is something that the criminal system issues to certain defendants. A bail is the amount of money a defendant must pay to be free until the upcoming court date. Not every person has a bail amount assigned to them.
The courts usually assign a bail amount to defendants who seem to pose a risk. The risk might be because of a long criminal history or a previous attempt to flee captivity. In this case, the judge will decide how much bail to put on the defendant. The defendant will have to pay that amount to be released from jail.
Not all defendants have enough money to pay bail and get released. Thus, they sometimes hire bail bond companies to help them. A bail bond company can visit the jail and pay for the defendant’s release for a small fee from the applicant. The defendant can then go home and find a criminal lawyer, business lawyer, family law specialist, and any other service provider who can assist.
When family and criminal law overlap, bail gets complicated. Several situations can make an otherwise straightforward case much more difficult.
Criminal Charges Can Impact Family Court Cases
Criminal charges can affect family court cases negatively. For example, a person who gets a DUI might lose custody battle because of the charge. The court may feel that person is not responsible enough to care for the minor children alone. An individual in this situation would need a family law attorney and a drunk driving lawyer. That’s one way family and criminal law overlap and cause an issue.
Incarceration and Child Custody Agreements
Incarceration is where family and criminal law overlap. The parent of a child might be in jail for criminal activity. A family member or close friend may take an interest in that person’s child and want to take custody.
Alternatively, the child’s other parent may want to assume full custody of them. In this case, the parent will need a custody lawyer if they would like to move forward with the request to take custody of the child. This type of lawyer paints their client in the best light so that a judge can make a favorable decision.
How Bail Bonds Can Help
A bail bond company can be a godsend when family and criminal law overlap. This company is in business to help individuals who have court cases but are stuck in jail because they need to come up with bail. Applicants usually pay 10 percent of the bail amount to hire a bail bond company.
The bail bond company then sends an agent to pay the bail for the defendant and secure their release. The defendant can then live normally and hire a criminal, family, or SSDI lawyer if necessary. They can also continue going back and forth to work daily and tend to family relationships.
Most bail bond companies will help a broad range of applicants. They will put up funds for people with misdemeanor and felony crimes. They typically can help to get a defendant released within 24 hours.
To apply for a bail bond, an applicant must contact a bail bond company and provide information about the defendant. This person also needs the money necessary to make the down payment. Furthermore, the bail bond company may ask for some collateral like the title to the applicant’s vehicle or the deed to a home.
Financial Concerns Around Bail and Child Support
Child support obligations can be tricky, and they can cause a family and criminal law overlap. If a person does not pay their child support payments on time, a default can trigger a warrant for that person’s arrest. The individual might have to pay a certain amount to get out of jail.
This person might need a family law attorney to help modify the child support order to make it more affordable. They may also need to hire a bankruptcy law attorney if there isn’t enough money to pay all the bills on time.
A bankruptcy attorney can help that individual to get discharged from some of their credit obligations and make more money available for child support and other obligations. That will help the person to avoid getting into trouble for not paying child support.
Immigration, Incarceration, and Bail
An individual may need assistance with an immigration violation or alleged violation. Immigration law offices can help to provide a defense for that person. Incarceration can cause employment problems if the person does not find a way to get released from jail. This is where bail bond companies can come in handy.
You should now know of several situations when family and criminal law overlap. It would be best if you also had a firm grasp on the different types of cases that family and criminal law courts handle. You may need to hire different attorneys to handle your case, but don’t worry. They will all help you get whatever it is you need.
Consult with the types of lawyers you need for your case before making any decisions about your representation. Make sure to choose the most successful and compassionate attorneys when you get ready to have them represent you. They will help you navigate a challenging time when family and criminal law overlap. You will also find that the court process will be a lot easier on you by having the right attorney.