Domestic violence charges are extremely serious. Even if you've been falsely accused, these accusations can swiftly damage your reputation and everything you've built for yourself. Whether your marriage is slated to become one of the 40-50% of first marriages that end in divorce or are experiencing ongoing issues with a former partner, you may end up in a situation that requires you to find an attorney quickly. If you've been accused of domestic violence or you simply want to learn a bit more about these crimes, take a look at our FAQs below.
What kinds of crimes fall under the domestic violence umbrella?
Domestic violence crime designations vary quite a bit from state to state. Some consider domestic violence to extend only to physical abuse, while others will allow for psychological and emotional abuse tactics under this statute, too. In many cases, domestic violence covers:
- Assault or battery
- Sexual abuse
- Destruction of property
- False imprisonment
- Mental or psychological abuse
- Offenses that result in physical injury of a family member/household member at the hands of another family member/household member
Why would someone accuse me of domestic violence?
If you are innocent of these crimes, it can be difficult to understand why a family member would make this decision. A partner or former partner may accuse you of these crimes during a divorce or custody battle to try to get what they want in court. Even just the daily stresses of life can lead to accusations they may eventually regret. In some cases, the incidents can be a simple misunderstanding, rather than purposeful deceit. But because these crimes are taken so seriously, the damage of these accusations can't be easily undone. In the end, the reasons may not be as important as it is to find an attorney who can represent your interests and help you fight these charges.
What should I do if I'm arrested for domestic violence?
While you should be polite and cooperative with police officers, you are not obligated to say anything to them without a lawyer present. In fact, you should refrain from doing so. You don't have to make a statement once you're in custody, either. You will eventually be seen by a judge, who will set the conditions of your release. Do not violate these conditions (which can include not returning to the home, not contacting the victim, and not possessing weapons) under any circumstances. Once you are released, you'll need to find an attorney who will serve as your advocate in court.
Even if you have not committed the crimes of which you are accused, you'll need to take them seriously. If you have been accused of domestic violence, you need to do everything you can to protect yourself. A critical part of that is contacting a domestic violence lawyer. An experienced law firm will provide you with the guidance you need throughout this difficult process.