What to Do When Charged With Domestic Assault & Battery
What you do after being charged with domestic violence can affect your finances, freedom, and future. Fortunately, following these steps can help your case, rather than hurt it.
DO – Take advantage of your right to remain silent
Why? Because anything you say can—and will—be used against you in a court of law. The best way to avoid self-incrimeination is to politely refuse to make statements or answer questions without an attorney present.
DO – Preserve all evidence related to the case
Write down everything you remember about the incident, make a list of witnesses, take photos of any injuries you sustained and, most importantly, don't destroy any evidence—even if you think it could hurt your chances in court. It's always better to be honest with your attorney about potentially damaging evidence than it is to try to hide it.
DO – Change all of your passwords
When you're facing domestic assault and battery charges, taking steps to protect yourself and your assets is absolutely crucial. Start by changing the passwords you use for your phones, computers, cloud-based programs, email accounts, finances, and social media profiles.
DO – Contact a criminal defense attorney immediately
The criminal justice system is complex and complicated. A skilled criminal defense attorney with experience handling Oklahoma domestic assault and battery cases can help you understand your rights, investigate your case, and mount a vigorous defense.
What to Avoid When Charged With Domestic Assault & Battery
Mistakes and missteps can make a bad legal situation even worse. Take care to avoid these case-damaging errors.
DON'T – Discuss the case with anyone other than your attorney
Conversations between you and your attorney are privileged and private. The same can't be said for conversations you might have with friends, family members, or coworkers.
DON'T – Contact the victim
Never contact the victim—not even to apologize or try to smooth things over. This is particularly important if the victim has been granted a no-contact or protective order, as violating these orders can result in additional criminal charges. Note that even trying to make contact with a victim through a third party can be considered a violation of a no-contact or protective order.
DON'T – Post about the case on social media
The less you say on social media, the better, as what you post can be used against you in court. Avoid posting about the domestic violence incident, the charges you're facing, the victim, or even your lifestyle. In fact, if possible, it's best to deactivate your social media accounts until your case is resolved.
DON'T – Post bail without consulting an attorney
People arrested for domestic abuse are subject to a 72-hour “cool down” hold, so by the time they go before a judge or magistrate, they're often eager to post bail and go home. However, bonding out can have unintended consequences. Consult an attorney before posting bail.