Domestic violence charges are a serious matter and can carry grave consequences including fines and a prison sentence. Even if you are not found guilty, the mere accusation of committing violence in the home can destroy your reputation, relationships, and quality of life. Unfortunately, false domestic violence allegations are more common than you think. Being accused of a crime you didn’t commit can be frightening and frustrating. If you have been accused of domestic violence in Riverside, there are certain steps you should take in order to protect yourself.
1. Avoid Contact with Your Accuser
When you find out that someone has made an allegation against you, it may be tempting for you to try to contact the accuser out of confusion or anger. However, this is unwise as it could be construed by law enforcement as an attempt to intimidate the accuser. Commonly, the alleged victim in a domestic violence case will seek a restraining order against the defendant. If the court does issue a protective order, you must refrain from communicating or making contact with the alleged victim, as well as others included in the order, such as your children. It is crucial that you follow this order until the court determines that you no longer have to, as failing to abide by a restraining order is a separate crime punishable by fines, jail time, and loss of custody or visitation rights with your children.
2. Gather Evidence of Your Innocence
Even before you’ve retained an attorney, you can start collecting evidence to support your innocence. The goal is to start right away once you’ve found out that you’ve been accused so that everything is fresh in your mind. Gather any evidence that may help exonerate you, including emails, texts, or photographs that support your claim. Write down any relevant names, times, or places. In addition, you will need character witnesses to vouch for you; these can include family members, neighbors, or anyone else who has had consistent interactions with you and your accuser. You can start reaching out to such witnesses to see if they will provide a statement of support.
3. Follow the Rules
If you have been accused of domestic violence, it is even more important to stick to the letter of the law and not give the court any more reason to convict you. This means that you should avoid violating any restraining orders or engaging in any physical or verbal fights. Furthermore, if you are being arrested, do not resist and cooperate with the police. Maintaining a peaceful demeanor will demonstrate to a judge that the allegations against you are suspect, and your lawyer will have an easier time proving your innocence. Additionally, show up to court or mediation appointments as directed. Be extra careful not to commit any other crimes, even speeding, as any unlawful behavior may harm your case.
4. Hire an Experienced Attorney
Finally, perhaps the most important step is to hire an experienced defense attorney as soon as you suspect that your spouse or someone else has accused you of domestic violence. The sooner you hire an attorney, the more effective your attorney can be. Do not speak to law enforcement or offer evidence without your attorney present, as this can be used against you in court. Exercise your right to remain silent until your lawyer advises you that it is alright to speak on the case. Once you have secured a lawyer, make sure you provide them with the full story. Your lawyer will only be able to prepare the strongest defense if they have all of the information. Remember, your communications with your attorney are always confidential.
Contact Wallin & Klarich Today
If you have been accused of domestic violence in Riverside, contact our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich as soon as possible. With 40+ years of experience, Wallin & Klarich is your best choice amongst Southern California criminal defense firms. Our attorneys have helped thousands of clients in a wide range of domestic violence cases, and we have the skills and resources to clear your name and restore your freedom.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Torrance, West Covina, Los Angeles, and San Diego, you are sure to find an available and convenient attorney near you.
Discover how our team can assist you. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney.