Because domestic violence defendants know their accusers intimately, they often say and do things that come back to haunt them later on. We urge our clients to treat a domestic assault accusation or charge just like they would a crime involving a stranger. This could make the difference between going to jail and getting a second chance.
Doing These Things Makes Our Job Harder
People accused of stealing a car or robbing a store generally know that they shouldn’t admit to the crime and should call a lawyer right away. For some reason, people charged with violence against a domestic partner often seem to forget these simple rules and make mistakes that could harm their defense. Some common mistakes we see include:
- Answering police questions. It is a mistake to believe that a domestic assault accusation is a private matter that can be easily cleared up. Some defendants think they can talk a police officer out of arresting them by answering their questions and explaining their behavior.
- Talking to the accuser. Once the call is made to the police, the charge is out of the accuser’s hands. Thinking you can talk sense into your partner or get them to recant their accusation could just add fuel to the fire. Once the call is made to the police, communication with your partner should cease.
- Violating a protective order. Restraining orders are often issued at the time of arrest, so trying to see or talk to your partner after you have been charged would be against the law. Even if the domestic violence charges are dropped, you could still face a criminal charge.
- Choosing the wrong attorney. Domestic violence is a serious crime, and it requires a criminal defense attorney with this exact kind of experience. Thinking the guy who got you out of a reckless driving ticket or your divorce lawyer can provide adequate representation is a big mistake.
Like with any arrest, the sooner you call an attorney, the better off you will be.
Put Us to Work Right Away
Domestic violence situations are never easy. Whether your partner is exaggerating an incident or completely making up an accusation, it might be tempting to try to keep the matter private and deal with it yourself. However, this would be a mistake. A criminal accusation should always be taken seriously. Calling a lawyer is not an admission of guilt—it is the smart thing to do, even if you are completely innocent. If you are facing domestic assault charges in the Chesapeake area, call my office for help building your defense.