What Can You Do If You’ve Been Accused of Domestic Violence?
Within a family or other domestic relationship, it is not unusual for disputes to arise. Because of the intensity of emotions involved, conflicts can easily escalate into full-scale verbal or physical battles, complete with threats, intimidation, shoving, hitting, throwing of objects, and more. When an assault, abuse, or other crime occurs within the context of a domestic relationship, and law enforcement becomes involved, they file the charges against the alleged perpetrator as “domestic violence.”
If you are facing domestic violence charges, you should contact an Albuquerque domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Twohig Law Firm today to learn how we can help.
Today’s Political Environment Increases the Potential for False Allegations
Domestic violence has become a politicized issue in recent years, and courts take such cases very seriously. As a result, the potential for false allegations is quite high.
You also might feel socially isolated while facing domestic violence charges. Due to recent, high profile abuse cases, public opinion tends to side with alleged victims — regardless of whether their claims are valid. However, don’t give up hope. The prosecutors must prove their claim beyond a reasonable doubt. A skilled domestic violence lawyer can help you defend yourself against false allegations and regain control.
Domestic violence charges can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. Repeat offenders might face aggravated domestic violence charges, which can result in a sentence of up to 36 months in prison. If you have questions about domestic violence and other criminal offenses, you should consult with an experienced, Board Certified criminal defense lawyer.
What Should I Do If I’m Facing Domestic Violence Allegations?
If you’re concerned that you’re the subject of a domestic violence investigation — or you’ve already been charged — your first step should always be contacting an experienced domestic violence lawyer. The sooner you retain a lawyer, the sooner he or she will begin investigating your case and formulate your defense.
You should also refrain from making any statements about the incident until your domestic violence lawyer is present. Your comments to law enforcement authorities and other agencies can easily be spun to damage your credibility. You’ll also want to avoid any further contact with the alleged victim, whether it is in person, over the phone, or electronic.
Finally, if you have any evidence or information that might help your case, make sure you document it. This might include photographs of your injuries, police reports, doctors’ reports, witness statements, and text and email messages from the alleged victim.
I’ve Been Served With a Restraining Order. Now What?
A restraining order or “order of protection” is supposed to keep domestic violence victims safe. It prevents an alleged abuser from making contact with victims. They typically last for one year, unless you can prove that the restraining order isn’t merited.
If you’re subject to a restraining order, you must comply with its limitations. Because it is a formal court order, violating a restraining order is a separate crime (contempt of court) that can complicate your domestic violence defense. If someone has filed a restraining order against you, you should immediately contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand how an order of protection might impact your daily life and your legal rights — and determine whether you have grounds to dispute the court order.
Once you receive a restraining order, you can request a hearing disputing the order. At this hearing, you and your domestic violence lawyer will have a chance to present your side of the story and demand the dismissal of the protective order.
What Defenses Are There Against Domestic Violence Charges?
As a seasoned domestic violence lawyer, Ray Twohig knows that every case is different. Depending on your circumstances, you might have a variety of defenses, including:
- Procedural errors, including an expired statute of limitations
- Defense of another person, such as a child or vulnerable adult
- Lack of a domestic relationship
At the Twohig Law Firm, we’ll take the time needed to understand and investigate your case. Next, we’ll craft the strongest defenses possible, basing them on your personal goals and best interests. While this sometimes might involve negotiating with the prosecutor, it could also require a trial and a well-prepared presentation to a jury. Regardless of the approach we decide upon in your case, we will treat you with respect, compassion, and aggressively defend your rights.
You Need an Experienced Domestic Violence Attorney
If you receive a conviction for domestic violence, it can have lasting consequences that negatively impact your life. Thus, you will need to hire the best legal expert possible in order to fight the charges against you.
You’ll also want to find a domestic violence lawyer with a documented track record. Don’t hesitate to ask your lawyer questions, including:
- How frequently do you defend people facing domestic violence charges?
- Are you willing to take your criminal defense cases to trial?
- Do you focus solely on criminal defense matters?
- Do you handle both misdemeanor and felony charges?
- How many years have you specialized in criminal defense?
- How does your professional experience, including any work as a prosecutor, help you with your cases?
- Will you handle my case or pawn it off on a junior associate?
Contact an Albuquerque Domestic Violence Lawyer Today
A domestic violence lawyer should listen to your story, treat you with respect, and value your long-term goals. At Twohig Law Firm, we can help you defend against domestic violence allegations. Call us today to learn more.