If the police show up at your home after receiving a call about a domestic disturbance, your situation could deteriorate fast.
New York police must arrest you if they consider you have committed a felony or broken a court order to stay away from someone. It applies regardless of whether your partner wants them to arrest you or not. If the only crime officers believe occurred is a misdemeanor, they can heed your partner’s pleas not to arrest you, provided you do not have a court order preventing you from being there.
What is a domestic violence arraignment?
If the police arrest you for alleged acts of domestic violence, you will have to attend an arraignment in court. The judge will read the charges, tell you your rights, and decide what happens next. The judge has three options:
- Set you free
- Let you out on bail
- Refuse bail and send you back to jail
They may also issue a temporary protection order, telling you to stay away from your home and partner. If you have kids, you may have to stay away from them, too.
An arraignment is not the time to prove your innocence. Yet, that does not mean you should stay silent. You need legal help to convince the judge to limit the restrictions on your freedom. For example, you can explain why the suggested bail is too high for you to pay or how waiting in jail would affect your child, who depends on you.
An arraignment typically happens within a day of your arrest, so you do not have much time to prepare. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can take action to minimize the consequences of a domestic violence charge.