The accusation stunned you. You knew that your marriage was in trouble but did not expect to be accused of domestic violence. You have been served with a restraining order. This document prevents you from living in your home, having any contact with your spouse and places restrictions on when and how you may see your children.
Whether these accusations are false or not, you need to protect yourself. Doing so may help you avoid the myriad of complications that come with a domestic abuse charge and conviction. These may include jail, probation, fines, limited parenting time and the loss of your personal and professional reputations.
Keep emotions at bay
Here are some important steps to take when facing a domestic abuse accusation:
- Immediately contact an attorney. Because it will be an uphill battle to prove your innocence, you need an experienced attorney to provide guidance.
- Keep your emotions at bay. Irrational behavior will harm your case. By remaining level-headed, you demonstrate to a judge that you are of stable mind.
- Compile a list of supporting witnesses. Make sure to also have character witnesses who may testify on your behalf. In addition, your attorney may seek expert witnesses as well as medical evidence that will dispute your spouse’s case.
- Avoid any contact with your estranged spouse. Doing so will harm your case, and the judge may view you as a threat.
- If falsely accused, make sure no records exist pertaining to any alleged violent acts from the past. You need to put an end to this pattern of false accusations.
- If you have children, do your best to see them. Your spouse likely will make every attempt to prevent you from having contact. This is one of the areas where an attorney can guide you.
So many things will swirl inside your head when facing a criminal charge. But you must take a level-headed approach at every step.
Protect yourself and listen to your attorney
When faced with a domestic abuse accusation, follow your attorney’s direction. Stay as calm as possible and do your best to protect yourself. Also, it may take some time to recover emotionally, but this is possible.