Being accused of domestic violence – whether falsely or otherwise – is a very serious allegation that could have long-term impacts on your life. If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, it’s important that you understand how being arrested, charged, and convicted of domestic violence could impact your life, as well as steps that you can take right now. To learn more about steps to take if you’ve been accused of domestic violence, call our Evansville domestic violence lawyer directly today.
Hire an Evansville Domestic Violence Attorney
The very first thing that you should do if you are accused of domestic violence is to hire an Evansville domestic violence attorney. Being convicted of domestic violence could mean losing your job, going to jail, having to pay legal fines, losing custody of your children, and other serious consequences.
Regardless of whether the allegations are true or not, you need to hire an Evansville domestic violence attorney who can represent you and build your case. Remember, hiring an attorney is not only a smart choice but also your legal right. Hiring an attorney does not make you look guilty; it makes you look like a rational person who is taking steps to protect their best interests.
Start Performing Damage Control
Once you have an attorney on your side, you and your attorney will likely need to work together to perform damage control, which means taking steps to mitigate harm and undermine the accuser’s case. Your attorney will advise you on the specifics of steps to take to perform damage control; below are some of the common ways that you may be able to improve the outcome of your case–
- Contact your friends and family. It can be embarrassing and difficult to reach out to friends and family and tell them what’s going on and that you’ve been accused of domestic violence, but doing so is important. Keeping your friends and family informed of the situation will make them more likely to believe you as the case evolves, and friends and family are also important witnesses who can come to your defense if need be.
- Reach out to your community. If there are others in your community who can serve as character witnesses for you or speak to your relationship with your partner, you should contact them too, and let them know what’s going on and ask whether or not they would be willing to make a statement on your behalf.
- Change your login passwords. Unfortunately, if you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, your partner may be looking for various ways to make you look guilty and cause you further harm, including using information in your private accounts–such as bank accounts, email accounts, social media accounts, etc.–against you. It’s always a good idea to change your login passwords. You may also consider hiding your personal belongings, such as electronics, jewelry, vehicle keys and title, and other items of value as these things are resources that could be liquidated.
- Collect evidence in your favor. If you are charged with domestic violence in court, you will have an opportunity to defend yourself against the charges. To do so, you’ll want to present various types of evidence that show that you are a good partner, parent, and community member, as well as someone who is not angry or violent. Types of evidence that you can use to support your case include:
- Any communications between you and the accusers, including emails, written notes, text messages, etc. You should also keep a journal of your interactions, dating back as far as you can before the accusations were made to today.
- Any witness statements that are in your favor, such as statements from friends, family, and community members mentioned above.
- An evaluation and testimony from a mental health professional. In some cases, your attorney may suggest that you get an evaluation from a mental health professional, which could demonstrate that you do not have a violent and aggressive personality.
- Evidence of your good parenting, including notes from your child’s teachers, the schedule that you and your partner use to organize pick-ups or other childcare activities, and more.
- Any evidence against your partner that may be in your favor, such as evidence of your partner lying or being manipulative in the past.
Keep the Peace (and Your Distance)
One of the most crucial things that you need to do after being accused of domestic violence is to ensure that you keep the peace between yourself and your accuser; if you don’t, any action you take could be used against you.
First, if there is a restraining order against you, be sure to follow it to a T. Even if there is not a restraining order against you, do not contact the accuser, go to their home or work, accidentally “bump” into them at the store, respond to their text messages or emails, use their credit cards or bank accounts that you have access to, etc.
If you do have to communicate with the accuser for some reason, for example, because you have shared children in common and need to figure out the logistics of temporary child care, do so in a way that is calm and controlled and record your conversation so that the accuser cannot later misrepresent the interaction and use it against you. Before making contact with the accuser, you should consult with your attorney first.
Call the Office of Thomas Law Today
Being accused of domestic violence is a serious allegation and something that you should take seriously as such. The first thing that you should do is to hire an Evansville domestic violence lawyer, then, work with your attorney to learn more about what steps you can take to protect your best interests and start building your defense.
At the office of Thomas Law, we have years of experience defending clients like you who have been accused of domestic violence and know what to do to protect your rights and serve your interests. Please call our law firm directly today at 812-492-1900 for your consultation. You can also send us a message directly using the contact form on our website.