There was a time in the United States when accusations of domestic violence were all but ignored by both the authorities and society. Today, however, accusations of domestic violence are taken very seriously. In fact, the pendulum has swung so far to the other side that you may find yourself accused of domestic violence despite any proof of your guilt. If you have been accused of domestic violence, however, it is imperative that you take the charges seriously even if they are false. A Murfreesboro criminal defense attorney at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby explains how to handle being accused of domestic violence.
First Things First
Every law enforcement agency develops their own policies and procedures with regard to domestic violence accusations. Many, however, err on the side of caution and make an arrest anytime there is an accusation of domestic violence. That means you could be arrested and taken to jail based solely on the word of an angry, jealous, or vengeful partner. If that does happen to you, do not let your anger or despair at being accused get the better of you. It is crucial that you keep your wits about you and that you look at the big picture. Toward that end, first things first. That means you need to focus on protecting yourself (legally) and getting out of jail. Do not, under any circumstances, discuss the accusations made against you with anyone. This includes the police officers who arrest and/or transport you. It also applies to your cellmates, the official who processes you into the jail, and the prosecutor who is assigned to prosecute you. Next, if you bond is low enough that a loved one or friend can pay it then do so and get yourself out of custody. If you have a high bond, however, focus your efforts and resources on retaining a criminal defense attorney. Your attorney may be able to get the judge to reduce your bond once he/she is retained. Moreover, a conviction for domestic violence can have far-reaching, negative consequences. You need an attorney on board to protect you and your rights as soon as possible.
Do Not Violate a Court Order
If you are released from custody you will likely be under certain restrictions imposed by the judge. One of those restrictions will likely be an order to stay away from the alleged victim. Stay away means stay away. All too often, when cooler heads prevail the parties regret what occurred and just want to sweep the whole thing under the rug. The alleged victim may decide that he/she wants to “drop the charges” against you. Unfortunately, the alleged victim of any type of criminal offense does not make the decision to file charges nor to proceed with the prosecution once those charges are filed. Instead, the prosecuting attorney’s office, makes the decision to prosecute an inmate – or to spend any more money holding him. Keep in mind that if the court has issued a “no contact” order that means you cannot attempt to communicate with one another. Even if you are certain that the alleged victim will recant, you must stay away because violating the terms of your court ordered release conditions could send you back to jail.
Mount Your Defense
Although you cannot contact the alleged victim, your attorney can do so for your defense. Whether you were falsely accused from the beginning, or you had an argument that got out of hand, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to navigate the criminal justice system for you. Doing nothing or counting on the alleged victim to make things right, could result in a conviction that can impact your future employment and housing opportunities as well as your personal life for many years to come.
Contact a Murfreesboro Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been accused of domestic violence, it is in your best interest to consult with a Murfreesboro criminal defense attorney at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby as soon as possible. Contact our team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.