Charged With Domestic Violence? Act Fast With these 5 Must-Know Steps
Apr 05, 2021 11:28 AM EDT
If someone has accused you of domestic violence, your priority should be to contact a domestic violence lawyer. Whether or not you're guilty, you may have to face legal consequences as a part of the investigation process. That's when legal counsel can step in.
Hire a Domestic Violence Attorney
A domestic violence lawyer can speak on your behalf and guide you through the steps necessary to protect you and bring you to justice if you are innocent. Of course, if your partner or children are involved in the case, seeking advice in family law may also be prudent.
If you're guilty
You need to seek counsel. You would be able to explore your options and be shielded from any negative remarks that could work against you. You may be encouraged to plead guilty.
If you're innocent
You still need to contact a lawyer to help prove your innocence. You could use any evidence you have to plead your case, such as online messaging, physical injuries, or verbal recordings. Unfortunately, there are many cases where people are unjustly accused of domestic violence and struggle to prove their innocence.
You could face possible jail time. Having a domestic violence lawyer could work in your favor. You may be able to get your sentence reduced or changed to an alternative form of punishment, such as community service or a type of therapy.
If your case is still under investigation, you could be affected by circumstances that work against your case. You still need the help of a criminal defense attorney. The attorney will review evidence to try to get charges dropped.
5 Steps to Take After Domestic Violence Conviction
Consult legal professionals
Meet with a domestic violence attorney for a private conversation about what happened. It's okay to be honest because it's all confidential. Be specific about the events, including date or time of the abuse, names of witnesses, or behaviors of the accused. Don't disclose specific details to law enforcement without the presence of your lawyer.
Save photos, text messages, emails, or anything that could prove your innocence, including any evidence of your relationship with the purported victim.
Remember what you say can be used against you
Avoid contact with the accuser. If you communicate with the alleged victim, anything you say could be used against you. The same advice applies to social media. Do not post anything because it could be taken out of context.
Abide by the rules
Cooperate with protective orders from a judge. Any violation of court orders would complicate your case and add penalties.
Admit you have a problem
Be willing to seek counseling or treatment. Admitting you need help will prove you're willing to change. If you are sentenced as guilty, you may be sentenced to receive counseling or rehab, depending on the severity of the offense and the judge's determination.
There are different types of domestic violence, including physical violence, emotional abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, or psychological abuse. Being accused of any of these charges is a serious allegation, and consulting with legal help should be your priority. Then, you can relax knowing that your attorney has your best interests in mind.