Domestic violence is defined, generally speaking, as a crime committed by a family or household member who inflicts harm to another member of the family or household. There are many forms of domestic violence, which includes physical and sexual abuse. Physical abuse takes place when physical pain is inflicted on the victim while sexual abuse occurs when the victim is coerced to have sexual contact without the victim’s consent.
When there is a complaint of domestic violence, a police investigation is conducted. Based on the results of the investigation, the prosecutor will determine whether or not domestic violence should be charged. The police officer will likely arrest the accused to prevent further abuse to the victim.
Even if a person is arrested, it does not mean that he or she is outright guilty. The State must prove that the accused is guilty by a reasonable doubt, the accused do not have to prove he or she is innocent of the crime being charged. His or her trial rights include the right to remain silent, the right to counsel, the right to be presumed innocent, the right to present evidence, and the right to confrontation. These rights must be respected no matter what case is charged against the person.
When a person is arrested due to a complaint of domestic violence, the person must not resist the authority. The person should be polite with the officer, but it is best not to answer any questions. Answers to the questions may lead to the self-incrimination and may only strengthen the cause of the case. The person asked should choose to exercise his or her right to remain silent. It is better to remain silent than to make false answers that may only result to inconsistencies in the statements. When exercising the right to remain silent, the person must assert it by telling the officer that he or she invokes his or her right to remain silent.
Ask to speak to an attorney for further instructions. It is very important that the accused exercise his or her right to counsel. He must contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. The accused must not sign any written statement without consulting first the advice of a legal attorney.
The accused must tell all the facts about the case to his or her domestic violence attorney. He must cooperate with his attorney so they can gather evidence that can defend against the State’s case. The attorney may present the evidence gathered to the police and the prosecutor for it to be investigated thoroughly. The attorney can advise the accused about the procedures that the accused must go through and what actions must be taken.
Finding the right criminal defense attorney is very crucial in this kind of case. The outcome of this case can surely affect the freedom of the accused. It is best to choose an attorney who has vast experience in domestic violence cases. This will ensure that the interest and rights of the accused are protected. Should the evidence against the accused be really strong, an experienced attorney can still find ways to mitigate or reduce any charge or penalty.
Facing a domestic violence charge can be devastating. However, in this situation, a person must try his best to remain calm. A criminal defense attorney must be contacted immediately. To ensure a more favorable result, it is always best to seek counsel from experienced lawyers.