Domestic violence charges are very serious and require immediate legal counsel from a domestic violence attorney. The first 48 hours in a domestic violence case are the most critical. Charges are made first and questions are asked later. Both your attorney and the prosecutor will be moving quickly to gather statements, collect evidence, and eventually build a case. Preventive measures will be taken by your attorney to stop the case from going to trial. In the case that these measures are not successful it is best to be aware of the steps of a domestic violence case. The process is divided into four steps:
When law enforcement is notified about a domestic violence case they arrive on the scene on high alert. They are expected to subdue the situation, protect the victim from any potential harm, and restrain the culprit. They are also required to gauge the verity of the domestic violence claim. Some domestic violence claims are false and made for a number of reasons. However, the ones that are legitimate require extreme care. Once law enforcement arrives on the scene they are mandated by law to make an arrest. It is the job of the arresting officer to determine the aggressor and make the proper arrest. Even if the alleged victim expresses a desire to not press charges an arrest must still be made.
After you have been released from police custody it is imperative that you are in communication with an attorney. Unfortunately being on the defense may put you at a disadvantage, for this reason be sure to hire an experienced attorney. Domestic violence can be very difficult to prove in court. Inconsistent statements, circumstantial evidence, and emotions can distort or cloud the truth. Prosecutors usually have a rough prediction of how the case will pan out in court. If your attorney initiates early communication they may be able to convince the prosecutor to not take the case to court.
If the case is taken to court the first court date will be an arraignment. Arraignments are often seen as formalities. During arraignments pleas of guilty or not guilty are made, bail is set, protective orders are issued, and following court dates are set. Following arraignments are hearings that will most likely involve your attorney, the judge, and the prosecutor. During these hearings is when your attorney will fight the hardest and negotiate the most for your case. Sometimes in felony cases a preliminary hearing will occur. Prosecutors try to push the case to trial during preliminary hearings and provide evidence to indicate the the violence actually occurred.
5. Actual Trial
Sometimes felony charges are reduced to misdemeanor charges. Sometimes the case is resolved before trial begins. Sometimes cases can be dismissed. If none of these occur the case will be taken to trial. If the case is taken to trial the process can be an arduous one. Be sure to prepare yourself for the physical and emotional distress to come.
If you have been arrested for domestic violence, feel free to contact us at Kyle Law Firm.