Domestic violence is a serious matter. If you’ve been charged with domestic violence in Texas, you should take these charges very seriously. A conviction can result in stiff penalties, including a hefty fine or time in jail. Beyond that, it can affect your family, your reputation, and your job for years to come. For these reasons and more, it’s important to speak to a domestic violence lawyer right away.
If you are facing domestic violence charges, here are 7 steps you can take to protect your freedom and your reputation.
Before you make any plans, speak to a defense attorney first. The conversation you have with your attorney is “privileged.” That means you can speak the truth, and all your communications are confidential.
Your attorney can take a look at the evidence in your case and guide you on the best path forward. You should remember that although your conversations with your attorney are privileged, this is not the case with your family, friends, or anyone else.
Do not take the advice of a family member or even a trusted friend. At a later date, the prosecution could call on them to testify against you.
If you face charges of domestic abuse or sexual assault, do not talk to the police or any form of law enforcement. You must understand the seriousness of your situation and know that this can only create more problems in your case.
Make sure you have an attorney present at all times during questioning. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to blurt things out and say the wrong thing.
Stay quiet. Making statements before you understand the charges against you is never a good idea.
Collect and keep any evidence in the form of cell phone messages, photos, credit card bills, social media posts etc. Once someone deletes or destroys this type of evidence, it’s hard to retrieve.
If someone makes a social media post that’s relevant to your case, take a screen shot and preserve it as evidence. Put all the evidence you collect in a folder or on a thumb drive.
In some cases, the accuser is the actual abuser. If you are in this situation, gather any evidence that demonstrates their abusive behavior, deception, or combative behavior.
In the hands of a skilled criminal defense attorney, this evidence may help demonstrate your accuser’s lack of credibility and your innocence.
Avoid sharing evidence with family or friends. Save any evidence you collect for your attorney to see.
If someone has accused you of domestic violence, you should cease communications with them immediately. In a tense situation, things can escalate.
Anything you say or do can create more evidence that your accuser can use against you. Even an apology can come back to haunt you at a later date.
If a judge issues a no-contact order against you, honor it. Even if your accuser tries to contact you, it’s a bad idea to engage with them in any way.
The court could still hold you accountable for violating the terms of a no-contact order.
When you are facing serious domestic violence charges, avoid posting anything on social media. It’s a bad look to disparage your accuser or rant about your innocence online.
Someone will save this information, and it could look as if you are harassing your accuser. Anything that puts you in a bad light is bad for your case.
It’s a good idea to stay off social media completely and avoid any hostile or vindictive words or behavior. In other words, when it comes to your case or your accuser, the less you say, the better.
Time and stress fades memories. Your case may be on the back burner for weeks or months before going before a judge.
That’s why it’s important to create a timeline of events. While the events are still fresh in your memory, write down dates, times, and details of everything you can remember about your case.
This should include the names of any witnesses or potential witnesses. Write down anything that may relate to your case.
You may think some things are irrelevant, but it’s better to let your attorney decide what matters in your particular case.
If the court finds you guilty of the accusations against you, it’s important to show you understand you need help.
Voluntarily enrolling yourself in counseling or drug and alcohol treatment is a positive step. This demonstrates you are taking strides to ensure any misconduct on your part won’t happen again.
Taking responsibility for your actions presents you in a more favorable light and might lead to a better outcome for you.
If you are charged with domestic abuse in Texas, you could face serious consequences. Even if your accuser decides to drop the charges against you, the district attorney may still proceed with the case.
A conviction can disrupt your life and affect your family, your job, and your reputation. You could face serious fines and possible jail time as well.
If you are in this situation, it’s important to consult a domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. You should not try to handle this alone.
When you are charged with domestic abuse, nothing can replace the legal expertise of a domestic violence lawyer who has years of experience navigating the Texas legal system.
We would love to talk with you about your situation and the next steps forward for your defense. Contact the law offices of Christopher T. Gore today. We’re here to help.