Posted in Criminal Defense on November 28, 2018
Domestic violence is a common criminal accusation, as many different actions could qualify as this crime in Arizona. Domestic violence can refer to physical, verbal, or emotional assaults or abuse, as well as neglect. The broad definition of the crime leads to many allegations and charges against innocent people.
Unfortunately, once someone calls the police with a domestic violence complaint, that person can’t take the accusation back. Only the district attorney can dismiss charges. If you’re facing domestic violence charges in Arizona, you could be in serious trouble. Hiring a domestic violence attorney, however, can help you beat this type of criminal charge with a strong defense strategy.
Don’t Incriminate Yourself
The first step is to be careful what you say on your arrest and during detainment. As your Miranda rights state, the prosecution can use anything you say or do against you in a court of law. Saying something such as, “She hit me first,” won’t serve to drop the charges against you. Instead, prosecutors can take it as an admission of guilt. Stay calm, try to interact with police politely, and don’t say anything that could incriminate you later. You do not have to (and should not) answer police officers’ questions during an interrogation until you have a lawyer present.
Find a Great Criminal Defense Lawyer
Your next move should be to find a criminal defense lawyer in Glendale. If the police arrested you, use your phone call to have a friend or relative call a local defense attorney on your behalf. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the better for your case. A lawyer can immediately begin to prepare your case, gathering evidence from the scene and building a defense strategy on your behalf. A lawyer can perform the following actions to help your case:
- Gather eyewitness statements and issue subpoenas
- Get a copy of the official police report
- Collect evidence against the accuser
- Organize your bail bond
- Talk to the prosecution on your behalf
- Look into potential defenses or plea deals
- Help you know how to act and dress during court
Although the courts can assign you a public defender, this won’t happen until after your arraignment, or first hearing. Instead of waiting and receiving legal representation that might not be in your best interests, go with a proven private defense attorney right from the start. There are often payment plans to help you cover the costs of a high-quality defense lawyer. Hiring a lawyer early on can make a big difference to your case.
Prepare Your Defense
With help from your attorney, begin building your defense case. You will need to consider what the plaintiff could be used as evidence against you and plan to refute it. Be honest and upfront with your lawyer about what happened prior to your arrest. Your lawyer can only help you if he or she has all the information.
Potential defenses for domestic violence in Arizona include lack of admissible evidence, insufficient evidence to prove guilt, the victim lied to police and wants to recant his/her testimony, the actions in question don’t constitute domestic violence, or the victim doesn’t qualify as a “domestic family or household member.”
You and your lawyer can review the facts of the case, look at your criminal history, and map a defense strategy that protects your rights and future as much as possible. Working with a lawyer takes the burden of case preparation and presentation off your shoulders during this already tough time. You may be able to reduce the severity of the charge against you or convince the courts to dismiss the charges altogether, with help from an attorney. A strong defense theory could change the route of your future.