A conviction for domestic violence can lead to serious consequences. From jail time to a ruined reputation all the way to loss of custody if you are divorced or separated, there is no doubt that a conviction for domestic violence can impact various aspects of your life.
What you do in the days and weeks following your formal arraignment for domestic violence can play a huge role in determining the outcome of your case. Here are two mistakes to avoid if charged with domestic violence.
Disregarding the protective order
Domestic violence often involves intimate partners. As such, it is not uncommon for the person filing the charges to obtain a restraining order against the perpetrator. If the court prohibits you from any form of contact with your accuser as part of the bail terms, it is important that you observe this order. A violation could result in the court canceling your bail and sending you to prison while awaiting the outcome of the trial.
Contacting your accuser
Perhaps you lost your cool and acted violently or were drunk when the alleged incident happened. Whatever the case, you might feel remorseful for your actions and decide to contact your accuser so you can apologize and try to settle the matter out of court. However, contacting your accuser while the case is still active is never a good idea, especially if they are under a victim protection program.
Phone calls, texts or in-person visits may be interpreted by the prosecution as attempts to intimidate your accuser and defeat the course of justice, and this could hurt your case.
New York courts take domestic violence accusations very seriously. Find out how you can safeguard your rights if you are charged with domestic violence.