If you have been charged or accused of domestic violence, you might feel like you have no ability to fight back. These charges can be hard to navigate simply because the accusations often hinge on one person’s word against another. Law enforcement officers may not be able to fully grasp the full story or how any physical injuries occurred.
You need the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer if you have been accused of any type of domestic violence. Your lawyer can help you to present your side of the story to the court. For people falsely accused, taking the right steps during court hearings can make a huge difference in the actual sentencing and final charges.
Comply With Temporary Orders
Even though it might not seem fair, the plaintiff or alleged victim of domestic violence can use their own legal representation to request a temporary restraining order (TRO) against you. This restraining order can be filed almost as soon as injuries or complaints are made with law enforcement.
The TRO may place many restrictions on you, including preventing you from contacting the plaintiff at all or even banning you from a shared residence. You might feel as though the TRO is unjust or not valid because you are not guilty of committing any violence against your partner or child.
However, remain compliant with any restraining order served. A lack of compliance could strengthen the plaintiff’s case against you and bring additional criminal charges against you.
Remember, these orders are temporary and your lawyer will be able to fight back so you can again have full communication with your spouse, partner, or children as soon as possible. Breaking a restraining order, on the other hand, only makes it easier for a temporary order to become permanent in subsequent hearings.
Request a Continuance
To protect victims of domestic violence, cases move to resolution quickly so that hurt and abused individuals can get the safety they need from batterers. However, the speed of decision making can make it hard for innocent accused to prepare a full defense.
Your lawyer may request a continuance to extend hearing dates so that you can prepare more adequately. Usually, your lawyer has to provide a good reason for the continuance. Preliminary evidence to show the tenuous nature of the case and the validity of the accusations helps to make sure you have more time.
Provide your lawyer with as much information as possible, including injuries you might have sustained, journal entries detailing your relationship, and evidence to show your role in the domestic living situation.
For example, if you are accused of abusing your child by an estranged spouse, you might show a long history of safe and dependable parenting. You might also get statements from neighbors, friends, teachers, and doctors about your history with your child.
Prove Self Defense
After you get your court hearing dates, prepare your solid defense. You have a few ways to adequately defend against accusations of domestic violence. If it is violence against a partner with injuries, your best claim is self-defense. You might have to prove that you feared for your life because of threats or past experiences.
If the accusation is violence against a child, you may need to show how injuries occurred outside or your actions or show that the injuries were accidental and therefore do not constitute assault. Your lawyer can help you to provide as much proof as possible, including bringing in witnesses and showing your stellar history around children in the past.
In he-said-she-said situations, defending against domestic violence charges can be difficult. You will need a lawyer to help you avoid fines, prison time, or separation from your children. Contact us at Daniels, Long & Pinsel, LLC, for more information about how to handle your specific case.