HOW TO HANDLE YOUR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ARREST
Unfortunately, violent crimes in Dallas are a common occurrence and the frequency of cases of domestic violence arrest in Dallas and across the country has increased since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
If you are facing domestic violence charges, you may be scared about how a conviction could affect your job, family, and personal life. A domestic violence arrest and conviction are serious and could result in harsh penalties or imprisonment.
If you face domestic violence charges, here’s what to do next.
FOLLOW THE OFFICER'S ORDERS DURING YOUR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ARREST
Whether the allegations against you are true or not, it’s important to comply with the officer’s orders. Even if you believe your arrest to be unfair, it’s in your best interest not to resist.
A struggle with the responding offer could result in a misdemeanor charge. The time to prove your innocence is not the day of your arrest. Wait until you talk with an attorney and plan the right strategy for your defense.
If you were accused of a domestic violence offense, you may want to proclaim your innocence or cause a scene. This will not help your case.
Talking without thinking may cause you to incriminate yourself. Your words could come back to hurt you in court.
You have the right to remain silent during an encounter with law enforcement. You do need to state your identifying information. But you don’t have to answer their questions or provide information regarding the allegations.
After an arrest, it’s in your best interest to remain silent until you have an experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side.
CONTACT AN ATTORNEY
- Handling all legal filings and forms
- Examining all the evidence against you
- Minimizing the negative consequences
- Working toward a fair and speedy resolution
- Helping you prepare your testimony
DO NOT CONTACT THE ALLEGED VICTIM
Domestic abuse situations are highly emotional. You may think it’s a good idea to contact the alleged victim to discuss your side of the story. However, this is never a good idea.
Although the alleged victim may have called the police, the victim will not be the one prosecuting you. The State handles domestic violence charges.
The victim cannot just drop the charges. If you try to speak to the alleged victim, you could face additional charges of dissuading or intimidating a witness.
If there is a no-contact order against you, honor it. It’s in your best interest to follow this court order, even if the alleged victim tries to initiate contact first.
DON'T POST AFTER A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ARREST
You may feel frustrated about your domestic violence arrest. This is especially true if you feel you are innocent. Your impulse may be to declare your innocence or put down the alleged victim on social media. Anything you post online is discoverable, and your words can be used against you in court. Refrain from defending yourself or justifying your actions on any social media platform.
THE CONSEQUENCE OF CRIMINAL CONVICTION
In Dallas, the court takes domestic violence cases seriously. Domestic violence charges include:
- A threat against a family member
- An act against a family member
- Sexual assault against a family member
- Violence against a date
- Physical abuse of a child in your family
A felony conviction can have severe consequences. It can be devastating to your career, lifestyle, and family life. A conviction can make it difficult to obtain housing, join the military, or receive financial aid for college.
POSSIBLE CRIMINAL PENALTIES
- C misdemeanor: Fines up to $500
- Class B misdemeanor: Up to six months in jail and fines up to $2,000
- Class A misdemeanor: One year in jail and fines up to $4,000
- State jail felony: Up to two years in jail
- Third-degree felony: Up to 10 years in prison
- Second-degree felony: Up to 20 years in prison
- First-degree felony: Up to life in prison
Each felony conviction can carry fines up to $10,000. An experienced domestic violence lawyer can help you fight the charges or reach a favorable plea deal.