The law takes claims of domestic violence seriously. It is not uncommon for a 911 call to end in an arrest, even if nothing untoward happened. Fortunately, it helps to understand that an arrest doesn’t always have to end in a conviction.
What you do following a domestic violence accusation can greatly impact the outcome of your case. Here are three mistakes you want to avoid if you find yourself in this situation:
1. Contacting your accuser
It may be tempting to want to reach out to your accuser to clarify things, try to understand their motivation or persuade them to drop the charges. Keep in mind that whatever you say or do can be used against you during the trial. Thus, however frustrated you might be, do not contact your accuser either directly or indirectly, especially if there is a restraining order in place. And if they attempt to reach out to you, refer them to your legal representative.
2. Violating the restraining order
If you are formally charged with domestic violence, chances are the court will issue a restraining order against you. Subject to the circumstances of your case, the order might not only prevent you from contacting the person but also prevent you from going to the house you share with them or from discussing the matter on social media. It is in your best interest that you do not violate the restraining order in any way.
3. Doing nothing
You may be innocent, but you’ll still need to fight the accusation. Even if your accuser is lying, do not sit back and assume nothing will happen to you. If you have evidence, like surveillance footage, eyewitnesses or an alibi, put it together. The stronger your evidence is, the more likely you will win should the matter go to trial.
Being accused of domestic violence is a big deal. Understanding your legal rights and entitlements can help you avoid missteps that can hurt your domestic violence case.