What to Do If You Are Charged with Domestic Violence
Domestic violence, or any violent crime against a spouse, child, or significant other, is a serious criminal offense. Unfortunately, criminal defense attorneys near Annapolis are all too familiar with cases in which a defendant is falsely accused of domestic violence. If you have been charged with this criminal offense, you need a defense lawyer who is experienced in handling these tough cases. Here is how you should proceed after being charged:
Contact an Attorney
Many people who are falsely accused of crimes believe that the other party can be reasoned with. Sadly, even if the wrongful accuser can be persuaded to tell the truth, a district attorney can prosecute the case with or without the alleged victimâs testimony. Only an attorney can make sure your rights are protected throughout the process. Your first step after being charged with domestic violence should always be to contact a criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with the laws and courts of your state.
Consult with Family Members
After being falsely accused, it is vital to speak to family members. While you may initially feel embarrassed to discuss personal details of your relationship, your significant other has most likely already begun to spread falsehoods about you. If your friends and family hear from her and you do not defend yourself, they may end up as witnesses for the prosecution. By keeping your loved ones informed about your side of the story, they will be more likely to believe you and offer their support.
Protect Your Valuables
Finally, make sure to secure all your valuable items, including cell phones and computers and their passwords. A false accuser can may log into your email account or access your phone to send threatening messages to herself, which she can later submit as evidence to the court of your abuse. Accusers can also resort to stealing car titles, birth certificates, or driverâs licenses just to make your life more difficult and distract you from your criminal case. Make sure you have all copies of keys to your home, garage door, vehicle, and mailbox.
Steps to Take if You Are Accused of Domestic Violence
If you are charged with, accused of, or arrested for domestic violence, it is crucial that you hire an experienced criminal lawyer near Annapolis . Your criminal defense attorney can protect your rights, and do everything that he can to prove your innocence of the charges. Here are the first steps that you should take if you are accused of domestic violence.
Cooperate Fully with the Police
If the police are called to respond to a domestic dispute or allegation of domestic violence, they may arrest you, your partner, or both of you; file a police report without an arrest; or leave without filing a report. It is in your best interests to cooperate fully with the police to reduce your risk of arrest or further charges. If you already have a criminal lawyer, you should call him immediately before answering any questions. If you do not have a criminal defense attorney, do not answer any questions beyond stating your name, address, and relationship to the alleged victim.
Hire a Criminal Lawyer
Whether you are arrested and charged, or issued a summons to appear in court on domestic violence charges, you will need to hire a criminal lawyer. An experienced criminal attorney can act as your advocate when speaking with the prosecutor and police, and may be able to get the conditions of your release modified to your advantage or the charges against you dropped completely. He can also secure witnesses to testify on your behalf should the case proceed to trial.
Adhere to All Requirements of Your Release
When you are released, the court will require you to adhere to certain conditions. This may include refraining from contacting the victim, attending anger management classes, attending drug or alcohol counseling, and attending therapy. You must adhere to all of the conditions of your release in order to prevent the prosecution from filing additional charges.
Disclaimer: This article provides general information about the topics discussed and does not qualify as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws applicable to each case may differ. If you have a legal matter, you should speak to an attorney to get advice on your particular situation.