What Steps Should I Take When Facing Domestic Violence Charges?
If you’re charged with any kind of assault or domestic violence charge, you should comply with every order in the terms of your release. That might mean that you are disallowed from contacting the alleged victim or returning to the location that the alleged assault occurred. I would also recommend that you contact me so that I can help you through the process, gather anything that you may need from your home and get more information in order to resolve the case. I can sometimes get a hearing scheduled fairly quickly in order to have an alleged victim make a statement and possibly get the protective order or no contact order dropped. I have worked with prosecutors to do that before. The prosecutor’s office will contact the victim and see what they want. If the prosecutor gets information from the victim that they don’t want that protective order, then we can agree to a joint motion to have it dropped. Things can move a lot quicker if you have an attorney. I can also ensure that you don’t make any mistakes-even a simple phone call can be deemed a violation of a no contact order and result in additional charges.
Can The Prosecutor Use Past Instances Of Domestic Violence Against A Defendant In A Pending Case?
The prosecutor can enter information of prior convictions. If the prosecutor is enhancing the charge because of prior convictions, then it would be permissible to introduce those at a trial. The prosecution could also offer information about prior charges and convictions at a plea negotiation or sentencing. So, it’s important to avoid these convictions so they cannot be used against you in the future. It can sometimes take four or five years for a conviction to be expunged or sealed, so these charges stay on your record for quite a long time and can interfere with your ability to get jobs or qualify for professional licenses.
What Defense Strategies Can Be Used In Domestic Violence Cases?
When defending someone who is charged with domestic violence, we first look at the statue in order to determine whether it’s an assault, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, or domestic violence in the presence of children charge. Then we look at the evidence and consider which legal defenses we can use. We consider how strong the prosecution’s case is, what evidence they have and whether or not they have credible witnesses. We can look at some of the court databases to see if an alleged victim has filed similar complaints or allegations in the past.
If the plaintiff’s case is looking pretty solid and the witnesses are strong, we can do things to mitigate the charge in front of the judge. We could have our client complete a domestic violence evaluation in order to demonstrate to the court or the prosecution that they’ve taken the charge very seriously and are getting the help they need. A lot of these charges stem from the abuse of alcohol or someone’s intoxication. In addition to the legal strategies, we do things to minimize and mitigate possible consequences that could be imposed by the court. If there was a conviction, then we try to show good faith on the part of the client that they are doing everything they can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Why Is It Important To Retain An Experienced Attorney To Handle A Domestic Violence Case?
It is very important to have an attorney that has dealt with domestic violence charges because of the potential penalties that can be imposed, including jail time, fines, civil ramifications, loss of your right to possess a weapon and ammunition, and the amount of time it takes to get these types of charges taken off your record.
One of my clients was a police officer who spanked his stepchild a little too hard and was charged with child abuse. Since it wasn’t a charge of domestic violence, he thought he would be okay. He decided to represent himself, and about 90 days later received a letter from his employer stating that because he’d been convicted of a charge that involved violence to another person, he’d lost his right to carry or purchase a weapon and ammunition. Even though it wasn’t a domestic violence charge, he still suffered from this consequence. As a police officer, he was familiar with the court system and thought he knew what he was doing.
He thought he could handle the case on his own, but now we are fighting to save his career and undo his guilty plea. You don’t see all of the things that can happen as a result of handling things on your own. There are just so many factors to consider and be aware of before it is too late. You need someone who has the experience, who’s been working in it for years, and who knows the ins and outs of all the things that can happen.
For more information on Steps To Take In A Domestic Violence Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 554-5220 today.