In July 1997, Domestic Violence Home Court began hearing non-evidentiary matters for all felony and misdemeanor domestic violence cases. The District Attorney, Public Defender and Probation Department received a federal grant for this 18-month project. The goal of the Domestic Violence Court is to establish an integrated approach to crimes of domestic violence in order to provide a comprehensive, consistent, fair and effective criminal justice response to our community.
Defendants with domestic violence charges and any other criminal matters appear in Domestic Violence Court for hearings and disposition of all cases. Those pleading guilty or no contest to the domestic violence charges are sentenced and referred to a community batterer's treatment program. The 52-week program includes counseling and follow-up with assigned probation officers. Defendants must also return to court at least three times for progress reports from the treatment program and probation.