Domestic violence represents a complex area of the law where violent crimes like assault and battery overlaps with family law disputes. Due to the sensitivity of the subject matter and the close relations between the accuser and the accused, it can be difficult for the criminal justice system to make a fair call, and harder still for the accused to defend themselves. Society has an automatic negative bias against people accused of domestic violence, so there is certainly going to be an uphill battle ahead. How does one begin it?
Reacting to Domestic Violence Accusations
In order to improve your chances of avoiding a domestic violence conviction, keep these points in mind if you ever get accused of the crime:
- Comply with police: Make no mistake, domestic violence is a crime and the police need to react to calls reporting it as if there is a dangerous suspect present. In fact, many states and counties require that police make at least one arrest for every domestic violence call, even when it appears quite clearly that no violence ever occurred. If you are told you are being arrested for suspicion of domestic violence, do not resist arrest. This is a crime in and of itself and will only make the situation worse.
- Stay quiet: Be extremely careful about what you say and to whom you say it after you are accused of domestic violence. You might know the accusation is falsified or based on an exaggeration or misunderstanding, but no one else might know as much. As a general rule of thumb, you should not discuss the case or ongoing investigation with anyone that does not need to know about it. When police are involved, you can invoke your right to remain silent after you have been placed under arrest. You can also say you would rather talk to an attorney before divulging details, even if you have not yet been arrested and charged.
- Collect evidence: You need to take the situation as if you are being investigated for a crime, even if you are not certain you will ever face charges. Use whatever free time you can find to look for evidence that will serve for your defense. Testimonies of others that say you are even-tempered and would never commit domestic violence are useful, but courtrooms really prefer solid, real-world evidence. Examples of strong evidential documents are your clean criminal record, your accuser’s medical history that shows self-abuse, your accuser’s criminal record that includes fraud charges, etc.
Of course, you are also going to want to work with a trusted domestic violence defense lawyer as soon as possible. The law is intricate and inherently not on your side when it comes to domestic violence charges. Retaining the services of a Birmingham criminal defense attorney from Tidwell Law Group, LLC can put experience, knowledgeability, and tenacity in your corner. Our law firm has been defending the criminally accused for more than 10 years and intend to put the full extent of our insight to good use for your domestic violence case.