A criminal domestic violence case is handled by the state prosecutor. Domestic violence cases are classified as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the severity of the actions that are being alleged. A criminal case conviction could lead to serving time in jail or prison.
In a civil domestic abuse case, the accused will have a temporary order of protection issued against him that prevents him from having contact with the accuser. Within a short period of time, the case will be set for hearing. From there your attorney will prepare you for your hearing as well as attempt to negotiate a favorable resolution for you. If it is determined that domestic abuse occurred at the hearing, however, an order of protection will be issued that can last for an indefinite period of time.