Domestic violence is a serious enough matter that nearly 20 people per minute are victims of it in the United States alone. Allegations in this regard are upheaving to all concerned. If you are ever charged with domestic violence, you need to know how to handle yourself on the legal landscape.
Don’t Speak to the Police
If a third party or the alleged victim contacts the police, you are not legally obligated to talk to them. Statements made at the time can be used against you because the police are trying to establish the correct party to arrest. Exercise your constitutional right to remain silent, and do as the officer says if they decide to apprehend you.
An investigation will then be executed, where both parties are interviewed as well as witnesses. Some information that is assessed during this time, including photos of injuries from the crime, police reports, phone calls to 911, and medical records, if present.
Implement a No-Contact Policy with the Alleged Victim
After you are arrested, you will be granted an arraignment in which you can either plead guilty or not guilty. A bond is then set and the judge can issue a no-contact order, to which you should strictly oblige.
Under this order, you can’t email, text, or make phone calls to the alleged victim. You also can’t show up at their workplace, house, or engage in social media posts about them. Any such contact could cause the courts to revoke your bond and deal serious blows to your upcoming case.
Prepare for Your Case
The most important thing you can do during this time is prepare your case. You’ll need to gather important documents, such as photos from the incident, police reports, and witness testimonials. A domestic violence lawyer can help with this aspect. These lawyers have experience in handling domestic violence cases and know what laws apply to the case and know how to work with the courts. They will build a strong case to demonstrate you were innocent so that the charges can be dropped.
If your case does end up going to court, your attorney is with you every step of the way. They can review the questions that you will probably be asked in court so that nothing catches you by surprise and you can respond in a coherent manner.
Dealing with a domestic violence charge is traumatic. Make sure it doesn’t affect your life forever by keeping the case to yourself and your consulting attorney, who can see you through this tumultuous time.
National Statistics, ncadv.org
Domestic Violence: What Should Happen When Police Arrive, purpleberets.org