Allegations of domestic violence can lead to several serious consequences, even if the alleged victim does not press charges. Because of this, it is essential to hire a qualified domestic violence lawyer.
Criminal cases involving domestic violence are complex and often turn on witness testimony. You must hire an attorney with extensive local experience dealing with prosecutors and judges on domestic allegations.
You’ve Been Arrested
When couples fight, it can often escalate into physical violence. When this happens, the police are called. If police witness evidence of injury on an alleged victim or find a pre-existing restraining order violation, they are required by law to make a mandatory arrest.
A domestic violence conviction can have a severe impact on your life. It can affect your employment, cause you to be barred from seeing your children, and even result in jail time. A skilled domestic violence defense lawyer can build a solid case to have your charges dismissed or reduced.
Domestic violence crimes such as aggravated assault, sexual assault, stalking, and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation carry severe penalties with lasting ramifications. The right legal strategy could result in your charges being dismissed or reduced, especially if the evidence against you is skewed.
The attorneys can look for errors in police protocol regarding arrests, interrogation methods, and evidence collection to undermine the prosecution’s narrative of what happened. They can also use medical records, 911 recordings, and other evidence to support their side of the story.
You’re Accused of a Crime
In many cases, arguments between spouses, romantic partners, or family members go no further than angry words and hurt feelings. However, when those arguments escalate to physical acts of violence, a criminal case may be initiated against the accused.
If the alleged victim files a police report and cooperates with the investigation, it’s up to prosecutors to decide whether or not to file charges and prosecute the suspect. Regardless of the merits of a particular accusation, an experienced attorney can help you understand your legal rights and develop an effective strategy for fighting false accusations.
Falsely accused of domestic violence crimes can have serious consequences, including jail time, restraining orders, and other penalties. An attorney can advise you on what to do in case of an unfounded accusation, such as refusing to answer any questions from authorities or the alleged victim until your lawyer is present.
If the person who accused you has publicly made false statements that have harmed your reputation and caused you financial damages, you could also consider filing a civil lawsuit for malicious prosecution. A skilled domestic violence defense lawyer could help you pursue this action.
You’re Accused of a Violation of an Order of Protection
When someone is accused of a domestic violence crime, they may face criminal charges and have an order of protection placed against them. This can prevent them from returning home, spending time with their children, or working in their field. A good domestic violence lawyer could help them get that order of protection reduced to something less severe.
At the time of arraignment for your criminal case, the court will usually place an entire order of protection against you – also known as an illegal restraining order. This is the highest level of demand that will prevent you from contacting the protected person in any way. This includes calling, emailing, or sending a birthday card or Mother’s Day message.
A reasonable domestic violence attorney could help you fight to remove the entire order of protection so that you can return to your home and spend time with your family. Alternatively, they could try to reduce the total charge of security to a limited order of protection, which would allow you to see, live with, or talk to the victim – provided that you don’t assault, threaten, or menace them.
You’re Accused of a Violation of a Child Custody Order
Custody arrangements are legally binding and can be enforced like any other court order. A parent who fails to adhere to custody or visitation provisions may be held in contempt of court. In severe cases, a custody order violation can result in parental kidnapping charges.
Suppose you believe your co-parent is violating the terms of your custody or visitation agreement. In that case, it’s essential to document as much evidence as possible to prove the violations occurred. This will include keeping a journal of each incident, pictures, text messages, and emails related to your case.
Whether you are the victim of a violation or accused of one, your family law attorney will review your specific circumstances and draft an effective legal strategy to fight the allegations. Common defenses in child custody matters include claims that the alleged behavior was not intentional or resulted from extenuating circumstances such as school problems. Your lawyer will also explore any technical defenses you have, such as claims that the violation is unenforceable based on command language or vagueness of the motion for enforcement.
You’re Accused of a Violation of a Restraining Order
In domestic violence cases, orders of protection often bind both the victim and the defendant. This is why it’s so important to be prepared to defend yourself if you’re accused of violating an order of protection.
Even if the complainant doesn’t press charges, a judge may issue a temporary or permanent restraining order against you. This can restrict your right to visit your home or see your children. Fortunately, it is possible to have these orders dismissed or modified with the help of a qualified lawyer.
The process of getting a restraining order dismissed can be lengthy, but it’s worth it to protect your rights. A skilled attorney could help you demonstrate that the restraining order was filed improperly and that you have no intention of harming the complainant. This can be enough to drop or move the case to a criminal court docket, where you might not face a criminal record. It’s also possible to negotiate a reduced charge that will allow you to contact the victim.