5 Things To Know About Domestic Violence Before You Go To Court
In the field of criminal defense, people will unfortunately get bad advice from the wrong sources. This is extremely common when it comes to domestic violence cases. In this blog, I will discuss certain issues that arise in domestic violence case and try to touch upon mistakes that I have seen people make so hopefully you will avoid it should the need arise.
Custody and Release Before The First Court
When a loved one is in jail for a crime, the first reaction a person has is to bail them. In a domestic violence case this may or may not be a good idea. There are many factors that come into play in domestic violence cases. These factors will come into play and need to be considered before taking action, that is often irreversible.
For instance, if the family waits until the first court date, a criminal lawyer may be able to get his client released without the need for bail, they may save themselves a lot of money (about $5,000 in Los Angeles County) if they wait. Likewise, a judge at the first hearing may raise the bail, depending on the circumstances of the case, and then the Defendant will be re-arrested and the money spent on bail was wasted. Other times, it is a good idea to bail a person out as soon as possible for various reasons. That is why prior to taking any irreversible action on a domestic violence case, important to consult a criminal lawyer who will advise you on what the next step you should take is.
Charges May Be Avoided or Lowered With The Help of A Criminal Lawyer
The time between arrest and the first court date is a crucial time in a case. Often, we have been able to intervene for our clients and discuss the case with law enforcement. This has resulted in domestic violence cases being dismissed before filing or lowered from a felony to a misdemeanor.
There usually isn't a lot of time, sometimes as little as 48 hours between arrest and arraignment. That is why it is crucial to contact a local criminal lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.
It Will Do No Good For The Victim To Go To The Police Or The Prosecutors And Requests That Charges Be Dropped
This is one of the most common scenarios in a domestic violence case. The victim comes to court or goes to the police station and says he/she would like to forget the whole thing and work out the problem within the family. Unfortunately, the police will not listen to the victim and file the charges anyway. Later, a criminal lawyer will be able to take advantage of this situation but unfortunately the victim alone cannot stop the case from being filed and prosecuted.
The Court Will Issue A Protective Order But A Criminal Lawyer Can Keep The Family Together
In all domestic violence cases, the judge will issue a protective order. There are two types of orders. The first kind is an order telling the Defendant that he should only have peaceful contact with the victim and the second is a stay away order. It is the stay away order that causes the most problems for both the Defendant and the victim in a domestic violence case.
If a spouse is made to move out of the family home, every day family life will get turned upside down. It is quite common that the victim of the domestic violence bears the brunt of from the fallout of this order and is often left to manage daily family life by themselves. Many times, we have been able to avoid a stay away order for our clients. The key is early intervention by a criminal defense attorney.
Never Plead Guilty Unless A Criminal Lawyer Has Been Able To Do Everything He Can On Your Case
I am often called by people who pled guilty to a domestic violence charge and now need to undo that mistake. As a result of pleading guilty, their life has been negatively affected in a drastic way. Once a person pleads guilty to domestic violence charges, there may not be anything that can be done to reverse the effects. That is why you should always have a criminal lawyer help you on your case and make every attempt to avoid life altering consequences from a hasty decision.
Vitaly Sigal is the founder and principal of the Los Angeles criminal defense firm the Sigal Law Group. He can be reached at 818 325-0570 or email him directly on this contact page.