Every relationship has its share of ups and downs. However, when those differences escalate to the point of violence or threats of violence, police intervention might be necessary. If you are charged with any form of domestic violence, it’s in your best interest that you understand your legal rights.
Like in any criminal matter, what you do (or fail to do) following a domestic violence charge can greatly impact the outcome of your case. That said, here are three things you need to consider if you are charged with domestic violence:
Take the charge seriously
Whether you actually had an altercation with your accuser or not, you need to take your domestic violence accusation seriously. This means that you need to begin working on your defense right away. Perhaps, your accuser is coming up with false accusations to gain an upper hand in an impending divorce or custody case. Or, it was a simple misunderstanding. Whatever the circumstances that led to the charge, do not leave anything to chance.
Obey any court order
If you are charged with domestic violence, you could be sanctioned with an order of protection. If the court issues a protective order against you, it is important that you carefully review and understand its terms. Next, you need to obey every requirement as stipulated by the court.
If the order requires you to keep a certain distance from your accuser, do not contact them for whatever reason. A violation of a protective order can land you in further trouble with the law.
Gather your evidence
If you are accused of domestic violence, you need to counter the charge with evidence. Depending on the circumstances of your case, some of the evidence you may present to defend yourself include witness statements, surveillance footage if you have any or an alibi. Remember though, it is up to the prosecution to establish your guilt beyond all reasonable doubt.