Many people aren’t sure when they need a lawyer or what the legal process will be like. Adapted from provides an overview of domestic violence charges when you should hire an attorney, and what to expect from the legal process. Domestic violence encompasses any abusive behavior between intimate partners or family members. It includes physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological abuse used to maintain power and control over another person. Common domestic violence charges include.
- Violating a protective or restraining order
- Kidnapping or false imprisonment
Domestic violence laws vary by state but generally cover abuse between spouses, former spouses, people who live together or used to live together, people who share a child, or family members.
Hire a domestic violence lawyer
If you’ve been arrested or charged with domestic violence, it’s advisable to consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An experienced Orange County Domestic Violence Lawyer helps in the following ways.
- Represent you at arraignments, hearings, and trial
- Negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf
- To support your defense, gather evidence and witnesses
When you have legal representation from the beginning of your case, it can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. If you would like to hire an attorney for criminal proceedings, you should not wait until after they have begun.
Expect after being charged
At your initial court hearing, you’ll hear the formal charges against you. You enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Public defenders are appointed by the court if you cannot afford an attorney. Your lawyer challenges evidence or files motions at pretrial conferences. This may lead to charges being dismissed or reduced. An attorney may negotiate with the prosecutor to get charges dropped or minimized in exchange for a guilty plea. If no plea agreement is reached, your case will go to trial. The prosecution has to prove you committed domestic violence beyond a reasonable doubt. The charges against you will be defended by your lawyer. If found guilty, the judge will impose penalties like fines, probation, domestic violence classes, community service, or jail time. Your attorney requested leniency in sentencing.
If you are convicted of domestic violence, there can be long-lasting consequences beyond potential jail time. Those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence cannot legally purchase or possess firearms. Felony domestic violence convictions result in a lifetime ban on gun ownership. The charges may affect child custody, visitation rights, or requirements to attend parenting classes. It is grounds for one parent to lose custody. Many employers do criminal background checks.
being accused of domestic violence conviction makes it challenging to get certain professional licenses. Those convicted of domestic violence are often court-ordered to attend anger management or batterer intervention programs. Having an experienced domestic violence lawyer in your corner can help tremendously in navigating the legal process and achieving the best possible outcome. Be aware of the dangers of going it alone if you are facing accusations of domestic violence. Consult with a criminal defense attorney promptly for skilled guidance and representation.