5 Actions to Avoid When Accused of Domestic Violence in Brooklyn
A domestic violence charge can completely alter your life. It’s easy to panic, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of attempting to exonerate yourself in the eyes of your partner, your community, or even the police officers who come to arrest you.
Five actions, in particular, can make your case much worse and can make it much harder to defend you against the charges.
#1) Contacting the Victim
Leave the victim alone, even if you don’t yet have a court order barring you from making contact.
The victim has no power to dismiss the case against you. The law does allow a domestic abuse victim to make a specific request to the police that they avoid arresting an alleged abuser on misdemeanor family offense charges. No such request is possible in felony domestic violence cases.
Once an arrest happens and charges are filed, the power to drop or dismiss charges falls to either the district attorney in charge of prosecuting the case or to the judge overseeing the case.
The only thing you can do by contacting the victim is to give the impression that you are trying to threaten or influence a witness. This can lead to the creation of additional evidence that will be used against you later, as well as additional charges.
#2) Violating Protection Orders
Violating protection orders will result in a new contempt of court charge. You can face up to 7 years in prison just for violating a protection order, even if you’re cleared of all domestic violence charges. If you are in the middle of a divorce, you can expect violations to come up during any custody proceedings.
If you need to get your things from your home, ask for a police escort to pack a suitcase during a window of time when your spouse or significant other will not be present. While it may feel unfair if you’ve been falsely accused, you can expect to have to find alternative housing until the entire case is resolved.
#3) Talking to the Police
Nothing good ever comes of speaking to the police.
There is no point where the police are suddenly going to say, “Gosh, I’m so sorry, clearly, we’ve got this all wrong. You’re free to go.”
All you can do by talking to the police is hand the prosecution more and more evidence to use against you.
The moment you are arrested, it’s time to invoke your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney.
#4) Canceling Health Insurance
Your court orders will almost always require you to maintain any health insurance that covers your spouse. Canceling health insurance may be seen as a retaliatory act.
You should also be careful about what money you take out of any joint accounts or why. As soon as possible, it will be wise to open up your own new bank account and to start depositing your paychecks there if you are able to continue working while these charges are being resolved.
#5) Posting on Social Media
Badmouthing your spouse or posting your side of the story on social media is a great way to get into even more trouble. Again, someone may interpret your statements as threatening. Plus, nothing you say on Facebook is going to clear your name.
Meanwhile, the district attorney can easily take anything you post and twist it up until it helps to put you away.
Call Ruskin Law Today
Do “lawyer up” if you’re facing domestic violence charges. It may be the only way to protect your freedom and your reputation.
In trouble? Need help? Call Ruskin Law today.