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3 big mistakes to avoid when charged with domestic violence

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Like any other confrontation, a fight with a loved one can get out of hand. When pushes turn into shoves, it may not be long before the police get involved – and you end up facing domestic violence charges.

What you do after you’ve been charged can be just as critical to your case as what happened before the police got to the scene. Here are three mistakes you cannot afford to make:

1. Asking the alleged victim to drop the charges

The alleged victim cannot drop the charges – because they aren’t the ones prosecuting you. Whether charges are filed or not is entirely up to the authorities. Even if your alleged victim refuses to testify against you, the prosecutor can proceed with their case based on other evidence, including statements the victim already made to the police and hospital records.

It’s even more important to understand that you can be charged with violating any protective order that a judge issued that forbids you from contacting your alleged victim. Reaching out to them, no matter how gently, can be considered harassment or witness intimidation, and those charges can stick even if the underlying domestic violence charge does not.

2. Threatening the alleged victim on the jailhouse phone

If you think that the prosecution won’t listen to your jailhouse calls to your friends and relatives, think again. A lot of people think that their cases are simply “small potatoes” and not worth that much interest – but prosecutors can be relentless. 

If you say anything even remotely threatening toward the alleged victim on a jailhouse call, even in code, expect to hear your words played back in court. The prosecutor can use your own words to portray you as habitually violent.

3. Riling up other people about the charges

You are not permitted to contact your alleged victim in any way – and that includes through third parties. 

Even if you know that the charges against you are 100% unfair or wildly exaggerated, don’t put the alleged victim on blast on social media or encourage your friends and relatives to express their displeasure. Again, everything will lead back to you, and that can result in additional charges.

If you’re facing domestic violence charges, it can be hard to sit and wait the process out – but that’s why it’s wisest to get experienced legal guidance on your side.