Accusations of domestic violence can happen to anyone. Both men and women have found themselves in the crosshairs of charges. Sometimes, the charges seem to come out of the blue.
It doesn’t help that domestic violence laws can be pretty broad. Under certain circumstances, even shouting at your partner during the heat of an argument could be construed as a form of domestic violence.
Here are four things you should protect yourself if you find yourself facing this stressful and scary situation.
Avoid talking to your accuser.
Don’t try to explain yourself, don’t ask why your accuser would say such things, and don’t take to social media to defend yourself. In fact, now is a great time to stay off social media altogether.
Anything you say to anyone at this point can be misconstrued and used against you. Sometimes, accusers go into these conversations with the express purpose of gathering “proof” which can be used to prop up an otherwise flimsy case.
This is especially true if the conversations are taking place via text or over e-mail, which means the content of the conversation can be used as evidence in your case.
You’re not going to convince your accuser to change your mind, nor will you convince anyone who has already taken the accuser’s side. At this point, you need to be concerned with convincing the legal system that you are innocent, and nobody else.
Avoid talking to the police.
The police are not your friends. If you’ve been arrested or are being questioned there’s nothing you’re going to be able to say which will suddenly convince them not to try to build a case against you. They’ve already decided. They’re witnesses for the prosecution in the event the case goes to trial.
The best thing you can do is to “lawyer up” just as quickly as possible while keeping your mouth shut. The urge to justify your actions, to explain, and to deny the charges will all be very strong. You’ll need to resist them if you want to avoid giving anyone any ammunition to use against you.
Preserve as much evidence as you can.
Weirdly, accusers often friendly e-mails, text messages, and social media messages even after the alleged incident date. You can save these as evidence to weaken their case.
If you know you’re being accused of physical abuse you could take pictures of your hands soon after the incident, showing a lack of bruises or breaks which could indicate a lack of damage inconsistent with the alleged victim’s story (most of the time, punching people leaves some form of damage behind).
And if there’s anything else around which might serve as exculpatory evidence, make sure you get it while it’s fresh and available, if possible.
Get an attorney ASAP.
A domestic assault charge can change your life for the worse. Most domestic violence charges are felony charges. This is not a situation you want to leave to a public defender, as these charges are very difficult to defend against. You want a lawyer who specializes in defending these specific cases.
If you’re facing a domestic violence charge, don’t wait. Protect yourself by contacting us today.