3 Steps to Take If You’ve Been Charged With Domestic Violence
Domestic violence in Florida is a serious criminal offense with consequences to match. But it is also unique in terms of how quickly law enforcement and the justice system can move against you. Based on allegations alone, you could be put behind bars and stripped of important rights, including the right to see your children. If you are ultimately convicted of domestic violence, your life could be changed forever.
That is why it is so important to keep your head and your cool if you have been arrested or charged with domestic violence. It can be an emotional and chaotic time, especially if you have been falsely accused. But while you may be understandably upset, confused, or scared, you don’t want to do anything that could make this bad situation even worse. Take these three steps to protect yourself and give yourself a better chance of a positive outcome to your ordeal:
Call a criminal defense lawyer right away. One of the biggest mistakes made by people accused of domestic violence is believing that they can handle the situation on their own by reconciling with the alleged victim or convincing him or her to “drop the charges.” Here’s the problem: the victim doesn’t make the decision whether to seek a conviction after a domestic violence arrest, prosecutors do. Since prosecutors aggressively pursue domestic violence cases, trying to defend yourself or thinking you can talk your way out of it could be a disastrous mistake. Since your rights and freedom are on the line immediately after the police have been called, you need to call a criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Document your own injuries. It is not uncommon for people accused of domestic violence to suffer their own injuries. The violence in a domestic violence situation is not always a one-way street. Sometimes, the individual being accused is actually the victim. But when police arrive on the scene, they may make incorrect assumptions about who was the victim and who was the aggressor. If you are accused of domestic violence, you may actually have suffered injuries during the incident. Maybe you were attacked and responded in self-defense, leaving “defensive injuries” such as scratch marks, bite marks, bruises, cuts, and other injuries. Document and take pictures of your injuries and seek medical attention as soon as possible. These photos and medical records can be important pieces of evidence in preparing your defense against domestic violence charges.
Follow all court orders. In many domestic violence cases, the judge will order the accused to have “no contact” with the alleged victim or children, or place other restrictions on the accused’s rights. You may be barred from seeking your kids, you may even be prohibited from going to your own home at certain times. This can be infuriating and painful if you know you’ve done nothing wrong. As unjust and awful as such an order may be, however, DO NOT ignore or violate any no contact order or order of protection. Violating a court order can itself subject you to additional penalties. Once you’ve retained an attorney, he or she can take the appropriate steps to have the order lifted or modified as part of their overall efforts to fight the charges and protect your rights.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer
For over 27 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimes throughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
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If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: 305-644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.