It can include such charges as battery, assault, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, vandalism and others.
When you find yourself in a situation where someone may accuse you of domestic violence, do the following:
- GET AWAY from that person.
- CALL A LAWYER.
The first advice is important for two reasons. First, if you’re not there the situation may resolve itself. Second, if you’re present and the other person calls the cops and starts telling the cops a story about what is going on and they later decide not to testify against you, then the recording of them talking to the cops may come in as evidence. If you’re not there, there’s no emergency and their statements to the cops don’t come in.
The second is important because you need someone who is not involved in the situation to advise you what to do with a cool head. The most important general advice is:
- Do NOT talk to the cops (STFU). My rule is: If you are not a lost 6 year old, then the cops are not there to help you. They are there to gather evidence which will be used to put you in jail or prison.
- Document any injuries you have with cellphone or regular pictures. You may not ever want to file charges against the other person, but if your defense is self-defense, then you’ll need evidence (pictures) to show you were attacked first.
In my experience Domestic Violence allegations are brought for nefarious reasons. Sometimes the allegation is used to obtain restraining orders and make one party in a divorce case look bad. I’ve seen unfounded domestic violence allegations ruin a person’s chances for custody and support in their divorce case. When a person doesn’t fight these charges they can have repercussions for 5 years or more. The judge in the family law case will always be looking at the one with the DV charge with more scrutiny.
Domestic violence allegations are also brought as a way to end a verbal argument where the other person seems to have the upper hand. This is the nuclear option of interpersonal relationships. Thinking perhaps that calling the cops will get the person to leave or admit fault one person will call the cops on another.
The truth is all the cops can do is arrest someone.
And once they do, it’s out of your hands.
It is a common misunderstanding that the person who makes the charges can drop them. Once you make allegations against someone and the cops come out, it is out of your hands. The cops and the prosecutors have all the power. They decide whether your partner goes to jail. They decide whether to charge your significant other. They decide whether to maintain the charges against your spouse.
Even if you tell the cops or the DA later that you made a mistake, the DA has an expert who testifies that people who make domestic violence accusations often take it back later as part of the domestic violence dynamic. The DA knows what’s in the person making the charges head better than they do.
Every domestic violence case is different. I’ve been successfully defending and developing strategies to successfully defend domestic violence cases for over 17 years. I’ve worked with family law professionals to coordinate a defense strategy.
I know what’s at stake for you.
And I will use all my skills to make sure you beat the domestic violence charges.
Call me to set up a consultation at (213) 479-5322.
CASE STUDY ONE
Sam M. was married just less than ten years. The wife owned a thriving business and as the marriage approached the ten year support for life milestone, the wife decided she wanted to end the marriage before she’d have to support Sam for the rest of his life.
One night Sam was brought home by co-workers drunk. They left him in the car at the wife’s instruction and he slept out in the cold. The next day he tried to get in the house, but the door was locked. He kicked the door and left some scuffs on the door.
The wife called the cops who responded and she told them a story that Sam had threatened to kill her if she didn’t let him in the house. She said he was afraid for his life. The police filed charges. The charges included a restraining order and Sam was not allowed back in his house to get his belongings.
Months later, Sam’s case went to trial and he was victorious. If he had decided to just give in or not to fight the case, he would have been denied support (needless to say she didn’t let him run the business any more), excluded from the residence and been behind the eight ball with the divorce court.
CASE STUDY TWO
Terry J. and his girlfriend had a good relationship. Like all couples, they argued. One day, the argument reached a point where Terry said something that pissed his girlfriend off. She got angry, he left the house and she called the cops. She said some terrible things about Terry to the cops who responded. The police called him on the phone and asked him to come to the station. He did so. He was questioned about the event and answered the police’s questions. The police arrested him.
Charges were filed. Terry was restrained from seeing his girlfriend by the court. On her own, the girlfriend went to the DA and asked that the charges be dropped. The DA wouldn’t drop the charges. They continued to press the case, even without a cooperative witness.
At trial, they continued trying to bluff Terry so he would take a plea bargain for something he didn’t do. Terry stood his ground and the case was dismissed mid-trial.
CASE STUDY THREE
Markus D. and his girlfriend had a fight. The girlfriend called the cops. The 911 call was recorded. Markus was arrested and charged with domestic violence. The girlfriend later refused to cooperate with the DA. The DA intended to use the 911 call as evidence in lieu of the girlfriend’s testimony.
Markus sought to exclude the 911 call. The motion was argued and Markus won.
CASE STUDY FOUR
Peter R. and his wife had reached a point of no return. They filed for divorce. One night while they were in a heated discussion, the wife told him he’d never see their kids again. She then took her nails and scratched each of her forearms. She called the cops and pressed domestic violence charges. Peter wanted to avoid confrontation and hoped that if he just gave in, she would see reason and be fair about visitation.
Thinking he was doing the right thing, he plead guilty to domestic violence charges. His wife got custody of the kids. He was given no visitation, then monitored visitation, then forced by the court to go through costly counseling. The divorce judge saw him as a batterer and his wife was awarded exorbitant child and spousal support. He couldn’t pay the amount because the domestic violence charges had affected his employability. He was found in contempt of court. This treatment went on for over five years.
If he had fought and won the criminal case, his wife wouldn’t have been able to deny him access to his kids.