If you are facing charges for Assault and Battery or Domestic Assault and Battery (more commonly known as Domestic Violence), it can be a very stressful and difficult time in your life. In most situations involving Assault and Battery or Domestic Violence, the accused individual Is left without the proper resources, guidance, and information to adequately protect their rights and defend themselves. There are five key pieces of information to remember if you are charged with domestic violence or assault and battery.
Do not speak to the police if you are arrested or questions about an assault and battery or domestic violence charge.
Many individuals think talking to the police will allow them to clear their name or explain their side of the story. This is hardly ever the case. Police Officers have a job and that is to arrest individuals for a crime and obtain a conviction of that crime. Understand that you have no obligation to speak to the police or to make an oral or written statement to them. Domestic Violence and/or Assault and Battery cases can create extremely hostile environments. Therefore, police officers are known to make an arrest to remove one party from the situation. In the past few years, the likelihood of an arrest over just separating the parties for the night has risen tremendously. More often than not when police are called, the caller just wants them to come and defuse the situation. However, in the last few years that has transitioned into police arresting one party or the other and taking them to jail for the night.
Police officers will use any statement that you make against you to determine who to arrest and that statement may be used against you in court.
If you are charged with or arrested for Domestic Violence or Assault and Battery, it is best not to speak to the police to preserve your innocence and protect your constitutional rights.
Be prepared for a No Contact Order to be put in place.
If you are charged with Domestic Violence or Assault and Battery, the first step in the legal process is for an arraignment to take place before a Judge or a Magistrate. This arraignment is where you will be officially charged, read the charge, and the court will determine the amount of bond. Often, if not the majority of the time, the Court will issue a No Contact Order at the time of the arraignment. This No Contact Order is a restriction imposed by the court that means you cannot have any contact, whatsoever, with the alleged victim. This can include calling, texting, emailing, reaching out to the victim or the victim’s family by social media, going to the individual’s residence or place of business, and may even exclude you from returning to your home if you and the alleged victim live at the same residence.
A strict understanding and following of the no-contact order are tantamount to a successful defense of your criminal charges. If there is a violation of the no-contact order, it can result in the revocation of your bond, sending you back to jail, and you risk the potential of being charged with additional criminal charges such as tampering with a witness.
Finally, if the alleged victim continues to contact you, despite you not contacting them, let your defense attorney know right away and never respond to the alleged victim’s attempts to contact you. Remember, you are under a court order, they are not. You face penalties, they do not.
Understand your rights and your case throughout the court process.
A criminal conviction, of any kind, including domestic violence or assault and battery can have life-altering consequences. Therefore, it is extremely important to gain an understanding of your rights in court as well as obtaining an understanding of the direction you want your case to go, such as, should you go to trial? Should you take a plea deal? Will there be jail time involved? Is a dismissal possible? What if you acted in self-defense? What if the alleged victim recants? Or doesn’t want to press charges anymore? These issues and more should all be discussed with your attorney in detail before making any legal decision. Our criminal defense attorneys take the time to answer your questions, tailor a defense specific to your case, and address all of the unique issues of your case with you.