What Happens If You Are Arrested for Domestic Violence?
If you have been accused of committing an act of domestic violence you need to take that accusation extremely seriously, even if you are innocent. In an effort to cut down on acts of spousal and child abuse, all states now take all allegations of domestic abuse extremely seriously.
For example, did you know that if the police are called in response to an alleged domestic violence incident, the guidelines for law enforcement state that they should arrest the dominant aggressor if there is reasonable or probable cause that an act of domestic violence has been committed? This law is in place to protect domestic violence victims and to help defuse dangerous situations, which it does, but in also leads to a lot of domestic violence arrests, some of which are based on little more than he said/she said.
Because the courts take accusations of domestic violence so seriously it is important that those accused of engaging in domestic violence follow the tips provided below in order to best protect their interests.
Tips for Protecting Your Legal Interests
If someone accuses you of committing domestic violence it is important that you follow the tips provided below:
- When the Police Arrive: When the police arrive, make sure to keep your cool. Be polite to the police officers and cooperate with their instructions while remembering that you are not legally obligated to give the police any information, apart from confirming your identity. Remember that anything you say to the police officers can later be used against you in a court of law. Therefore, it is important that you keep your wits about you and don’t let yourself be badgered into saying something that you’ll later regret having said.
- While Under Arrest: If you are placed under arrest be sure to cooperate with the arresting officers, don’t make any self-incriminating statements (either verbal or written), and do not under any circumstances call your spouse (or whoever it was that accused you of committing domestic violence) while in jail.
- When Released: When someone who has been accused of committing domestic violence is released from jail there are almost always conditions linked to their release. These conditions may include: no contacting the alleged victim, no carrying a firearm, no returning home without a sheriff escort (if you live with your accuser), etc. It is critical that you strictly adhere to each condition of your release or you will likely find yourself back in jail.
- Going Forward: If domestic violence charges or a restraining order has been filed against you it is often in your best interest to consult with a local domestic violence defense attorney about your legal options. An experienced lawyer will be able to help you respond to a temporary restraining order (TRO), craft a legal defense, and negotiate on your behalf.
Contact a Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco for help in defending against these charges.
Thanks to the Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal law and your constitutional rights.