Domestic Violence FAQs
How do I sign up for domestic violence counseling?
If you have already been sentenced, you should have been given a paper that has all of the programs approved in San Mateo County. Call one of those offices and make an appointment. They will answer all of your questions about the program from there.
If you did not receive the form with all of the programs on it when you were in court, you can get a copy at any of the adult probation offices or you will find one in the forms section of this web site.
If you live in another county, contact their probation department to find out what agencies have been certified in that county. Then contact any of those agencies to make an appointment.
What if I do not have the money to pay for Domestic Violence counseling?
It is your responsibility to attend and pay for classes. Please contact the program regarding a reduction on fees or tell the judge about your financial trouble at the next progress report.
Can I attend more than one session of domestic violence counseling per week and complete the program sooner?
No, the law states that you must attend for 52 weeks.
Where can I get a list of Domestic Violence Treatment programs within San Mateo County?
You may come to our office to get a list of available treatment programs or you may download it from this site.
How do I find out who my PO is?
Even though the court instructs you to contact the probation department within 3 days, it almost always takes more than 3 days for your case to be assigned to the probation officer who will be supervising your case. You must contact the probation office within three days to get the paperwork going. After about a week to 10 days, if you have not heard from your probation officer, it is your responsibility to get in touch with him or her. If you call reception after this amount of time, they should be able to tell you who your supervising officer will be. There are exceptions, where there are problems with the paperwork that it may take more than 10 days for your case to be assigned.
When I have a no contact order, how do I get that changed to a no harassment order?
The judge is the only one who can change a no contact order to a no harassment order. In domestic violence cases, the judge will usually wait until the defendant has started domestic violence counseling and shown that they will abide by their conditions of probation, before he or she is willing to modify the no contact order. Then, there must, both the victim and the defendant must agree that they want the no contact order modified.
The best way for this to happen is for the victim to contact the supervising probation officer and to express their desire for the no contact order to be lifted. It is also helpful if the victim sends something in writing. It is then up to the probation officer to make a recommendation one way or the other.
What happens if it is the victim who contacts the defendant?
The victim cannot be in violation of the no contact order. Even if the victim contacts the defendant, the defendant is still required to have no contact with the victim and can be arrested and/or have their probation violated if they do not terminate a phone call or walk away.