Disagreements between people in a relationship can become intense. Whether individuals are married, living together, have a child together, or are in a serious relationship, most will eventually have a verbal altercation with their significant other. However, there is a world of difference between violent emotions and speech and physical harm. Domestic violence is defined as causing, intentionally, physical injury to a partner or someone in the same home.
Domestic violence first becomes a legal issue when law enforcement is called. This often happens when neighbors or other parties misunderstand the nature of a bad argument and call the police. The police officers who respond to the call and come to your door have some discretion in how to deal with the situation. They may decide that no violence has occurred and give you a warning. They may take you into custody but file no charges. Or, they may take you into custody and file charges based on accusations made by your partner.
Why Domestic Charges Must Be Taken Seriously
The legal repurcussions of domestic violence charges are not the only thing that individuals face. Being charged with domestic violence can seriously damage your reputation among your friends, family, and community. It can lead to a strain in relations with people you have known for years and may lead to a loss of trust and confidence.
A conviction can be detrimental to your career prospects. Many employers treat this crime with severity. If you are not forced out of your current job, you will may find it difficult to get a promotion with a criminal record for domestic violence or find a new job.
A criminal conviction for domestic violence can even compromise your ability to get the accommodation you prefer. High-end apartment and housing complexes are keen to accept safe and productive citizens. They will carry out a criminal background check. And once they see the conviction, they may reject your application.
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are taken into custody for domestic violence, you should not answer any questions without a criminal defense attorney present. You will probably be in a highly charged and emotional state. You do not want to say anything that may used as evidence against you, which is why you should exercise your Fifth Amendment right and remain silent until you have spoken with a domestic violence attorney.
Such a lawyer should be your first phone call. Once your domestic violence attorney has arrived, they will advise you on how to answer the questions put to you by police. Indeed, the issue need not go beyond an arrest. In some instances, it may be possible for your lawyer to speak to your partner and negotiate the terms by which the two of you can reconcile. They may have made accusations against you in the heat of the moment, but with some time and reflection have decided to retract their statement.
Building Your Defense
If it is not possible to reconcile with the person who has accused you of violence, then you will need to mount a defense. If you have not done what you are accused of, it is up to your lawyer to demonstrate this through a legal process. You need an attorney who knows how to point out where fact, evidence, and logic end and emotion, conjecture, and dishonesty begin.
If you have had a long-running struggle with your significant other over child custody, child support, money issues, the accusations made against you may be driven by pure scorn. A criminal defense lawyer who has dealt with scores of domestic abuse cases will know how to mount a sound and effective defense on your behalf. They will point out the lack of evidence and logical fallacies in the prosecution’s case. If there is uncertainty as to what exactly happened between the two of you, your lawyer will work to ensure that you are not unduly punished for something that cannot be proven.
Your lawyer can also help you re-establish your reputation when you return home. Even if you are acquitted of the charges against you, it can be hard to restore your good name. An experienced attorney like Jason D. Baltz will know how to make this happen.
If you have been charged with domestic violence, you need hard-hitting legal representation. Contact The Law Offices of Jason D. Baltz for a consultation to discuss your case.