Domestic violence is a serious problem in our country, and the police and the court system take it very seriously. If you are arrested and charged with a domestic violence offense, it is important to react appropriately to help ensure that the charge does not lead to a conviction that will bring long-term consequences. Take the following steps if you're charged with a domestic violence offense:
When the police arrive, you are not required to provide details or attempt to verbally defend yourself. In most cases, it is in your best interest to remain silent so you don't incriminate yourself. If your arrest results in being taken to jail, avoid talking about the incident that led to your arrest over the phone, since phone calls are typically recorded.
Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney
A domestic violence conviction can have consequences that last a lifetime. If convicted, you can lose your right to own or use a gun for the rest of your life, regardless of whether the charge was a misdemeanor or a felony. You may also lose your ability to obtain fingerprint clearance and you will have a criminal record that future employers or landlords can see.
Since a domestic violence conviction has serious consequences, it is extremely important to hire a criminal defense attorney that specializes in domestic violence cases. Your attorney may be able to work on your behalf to get the charges dropped or get you acquitted of the charges. If that is not possible, your attorney may be able to get the charges reduced or arrange a plea deal that says that charges will be dismissed after you successfully complete court-ordered domestic violence counseling sessions.
Stay Away from the Victim
In a lot of cases, a person who is arrested for a domestic violence offense will be ordered to stay away from the victim until the case is heard in court. If there is a no-contact order in effect, it is extremely important to comply. Failure to do so can result in additional charges and more legal problems. While it can be very difficult to stay away from the victim if you share a residence, it is best to make arrangements to stay elsewhere. In addition to avoiding physical contact, do not call or text the victim when a no-contact order is in place. If you share children with the victim, consult your lawyer to make arrangements to see your kids.
Contact an attorney such as James D'Angelo, ESQ to learn more.