Five Things to Know If You Have Been Charged with Domestic Violence
If you have been charged with domestic violence, it is important that you take these charges seriously. If convicted, you could be facing jail time, fines and costs, probation, participation in a state-approved program and much more. Here are a few important things to keep in mind:
Don’t Talk to Police
Usually when an altercation arises, either one of the parties involved or a concerned neighbor calls the police. When the police arrive, they will try to sort out the circumstances surrounding the incident and determine who is at fault. It is important to be aware that you are not obligated to answer any direct questioning by police. In fact, anything you say could actually harm your case down the road. You should be polite and cooperative, but not divulge any additional information. Request that you speak to your lawyer first.
Understand No Contact Orders
If you are arrested, you will be arraigned before a judge. At that time, you will be charged and your bail will be set. In domestic violence cases, it is not unusual for a judge to issue a no-contact order. This order prohibits the defendant from having any contact whatsoever with the victim.
It is crucial that you abide by this order. A violation of your no contact order can have detrimental consequences such as revocation of your bail, or you could have other charges brought against you such as tampering with a witness.
You May Not Be Able to Return Home
If you live with the other party involved and the judge has issued a no-contact order, you may not be allowed to return to your home. In this instance however, you can arrange for a civil standby order through the Sheriff’s office. This will allow you to go home while accompanied by a police officer to gather your belongings.
Protect Your Rights
Parties involved in a domestic violence incident often have property and children in common as well. It is important to note that being charged with domestic violence can affect many different aspects of your life, such as child custody, visitation and parental rights. While it is important to focus on the charges against you, you also need to be aware of how these charges can impact your life as a whole. It is important to speak with experienced legal counsel to ensure your rights are protected.
A domestic violence charge can be serious, and can cause life long consequences. It is important to clearly understand the charges against you and your options moving forward. We understand that you likely have many questions and concerns regarding your domestic violence charge. Do you understand the particular charges against you? Should you take a plea deal or go to trial? What happens if you were only acting in self-defense? We are here to answer these, and the many other questions you may have.