What Advice Would You Give To Someone Who Has Just Been Arrested On a Domestic Violence Charge?

It’s scary and upsetting to be arrested for anything, let alone a domestic violence charge. The first thing you need to do, after you’ve bonded out of jail, is to take a step back, try to calm down, and resist the temptation to contact the person who has filed these charges on you.

What I see too often is that when a person’s been charged with a domestic violence case, there’s a temptation to lash out against the complainant. That may take the form of emailing or texting the complainant, bad mouthing them to friends and family members, threatening to get full custody of the kids in the divorce, and so on. But any sort of angry communication is something that you want to avoid—it will come back to bite you later on.

You don’t want to be put in a situation where later on at your trial, I have to argue to the jury that the reason you called the complainant all these names or said all these nasty things is because you were upset at being arrested, not because you were following a physical assault with a verbal one. If the jury thinks you’re an asshole because of the way you talked to the complainant, they’re more likely to believe that you’re guilty of assaulting that complainant. That’s just human nature.

To be completely safe, you don’t want to communicate at all with the complainant right after you’ve been arrested. Wait until you talk with me first.

My second piece of advice is to preserve all messages between you and the complainant. Why? Because most of the time, a domestic violence charge is preceded by some sort of argument, and what the complainant said in voicemails, emails, or texts is evidence I can use to prove what was going on before the police were called. Also, many times, complainants will text my clients statements after the arrest that contradict what they told the police or statements that reveal their true motive for calling the police (e.g. “I’m going to be the one who gets the kids now” or “This is what you get for cheating on me.”). Let the complainant send you as many angry messages as he or she wants, just don’t respond to them. The complainant is going to get frustrated by your silence and just send more angry messages, and the more angry messages from the complainant, the better your case gets.

Too many times, I’ll meet a new client only to have him or her tell me that they deleted all their text messages, emails, and voicemails because they were afraid it would make them look bad when the exact opposite is true.

My third piece of advice is to meet with me as quickly as possible. The sooner I can get to work on your case, the better. There are types of evidence that can be helpful in a domestic violence case that have a very short shelf life, such as certain types of cell phone records or social media records, that I need to request relatively quickly. I can also get to work on contacting the complainant and any witnesses before they’ve had a chance to talk to the prosecution or get their stories straight. I can also work on trying to ensure that a no contact order isn’t entered in your case.

So: (1) don’t talk to the complainant, (2) save all your messages with the complainant, and (3) get in touch with me as soon as possible.

For more information on Advice On Domestic Violence Offense, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (713) 936-4521 today.

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