3 Steps To Take After Being Charged With A Domestic Violence Offense

Domestic violence is a serious problem, and courts across the country are cracking down on those convicted of a domestic violence offense. A domestic violence conviction can have long-lasting negative effects on your life, so if you are arrested and charged with a domestic violence offense, it is important to react appropriately. Take the following steps if you have been charged with a domestic violence offense:

Immediately Contact a Criminal Law Attorney

After being charged with a domestic violence offense, it is imperative to hire an experienced criminal law attorney, preferably on who specializes in domestic violence cases, to represent you. A domestic violence conviction can result in you being permanently banned from owning or operating a firearm, make it impossible to obtain a fingerprint clearance card, and may make it more difficult to secure good employment since your conviction will show up on a criminal background check.

Don't assume that the alleged victim will be able to drop the charges-- domestic violence is taken very seriously by the court system and many prosecutors move forward with the charges even if the allege victim asks them not to or refuses to cooperate. You need an attorney who understands the court system and knows how domestic violence cases work. Having an attorney working on your behalf gives you the best chance of getting the charges dismissed or being offered a plea deal that will remove the conviction from your record if you successfully complete court ordered anger management and domestic violence awareness classes. 

Document Any Injuries that You May Have Suffered

Domestic violence incidences are not always clear cut, and it is possible for a person to be charged with a domestic violence crime even if he or she was actually only defending him or herself. If you have any injuries, such as scratches, bruises, bite marks, or lacerations, make sure that you take clear photographs of them. When the case goes to court, these photos will serve as evidence that your attorney will use to fight your case.

Obey All Court Orders

Depending on the circumstances of the domestic violence incidence, a judge may grant an emergency protective order for the alleged victim or a no contact order. If either one of these are in place, it is very important that you stay away from the allege victim and do not try to contact him or her. Failure to follow court orders can result in additional charges, and it will be much harder for your lawyer to successfully fight the original domestic violence charge. 

To learn more, contact a law firm like Larson, Latham, Huettl Attorneys.