Being charged with a domestic violence offense can be an incredibly stressful experience. In this type of situation, it is imperative to remain calm and take the right steps so you don't make things worse. It is important to note that being charged with a domestic violence offense is not the same as being convicted, so it is in your best interest to do what you can to ensure a good outcome. Use the following tips to learn more about how to proceed after you have been charged with a domestic violence offense:
Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
Being convicted of a domestic violence charge can have a number of negative consequences, and some of the consequences can be long-lasting. For example, with a conviction, you may lose your right to own a gun, and it can be hard to secure a job or rent a property since you will have a criminal record. Thus, the best thing that you can do after being charged is to hire a criminal defense lawyer who handles domestic violence cases. The criminal defense lawyer you hire will review all of the facts of your case and then build a strong defense to use when you go to court.
Do Not Contact the Alleged Victim
By definition, domestic violence happens between romantic partners or family members. After you are charged, you may be tempted to get in contact with the alleged victim, but doing so is a bad idea. This is especially true if there is any type of protective order in place. No matter how you feel about the situation, you are much better off staying away and avoiding all contact while your case is active. If the alleged victim has a protective order in place and you contact him or her, you can make your situation much worse.
Show Up for Court
One of the most important things to do after being charged with a domestic violence charge is to show up for every court date. The number of times that you have to appear in court will depend on a number of factors, but you must be in the courtroom on time when you are ordered to appear. Stay in regular contact with your criminal defense lawyer — he or she will give you reminders about when you are due in court and will let you know what to expect.