The allegations made by your spouse shocked you. Domestic violence. Police arrived at your home and escorted you out. You were lucky to quickly pack a tote bag before you left.
Soon after, a judge issues a restraining order. You cannot return to your house, have contact with your spouse and may only see your children under supervised conditions. Faced with this dilemma that may include jail time, a steep fine and limited parenting time, you wonder what you need to do.
Seek an attorney and get witnesses
When accused of domestic violence, you need to take prompt action in resolving this situation and getting your life back on track. Here are some critical steps to consider:
- Contact an attorney: Promptly do so. An arrest has tainted you, and you face a major challenge in proving your innocence. An experienced attorney will provide essential guidance, insight and direction, while also explaining your options.
- Control your emotions: Granted, this incident upsets, hurts and angers you. Maintain rational behavior as you do not want to do something that may harm your case. Maintain a level head, especially in the courtroom before the judge.
- Create a list of supporting witnesses: These people will testify in your support. Some will be character witnesses. Others will vouch for your credibility regarding the alleged incident. In addition, your attorney may contact expert witnesses and seek medical evidence that counter your spouse’s claims.
- Avoid contact with your spouse: A restraining order may be in place, so do not violate it by going to the family home, your spouse’s workplace or anywhere in the public to see him or her. Doing so will label you as a threat, and a judge will swiftly acknowledge this.
- Secure supporting evidence if falsely accused: Perhaps this is not the first time your spouse falsely accused you of domestic violence. Compile these reports if they exist. The judge will recognize the pattern and may determine your spouse’s instability and untruthfulness.
- See your children: Under the circumstances, it may be awkward and uncomfortable. Your spouse likely will make every attempt to block you from seeing them. Your children need you. An attorney will provide the necessary insight.
An accusation of domestic violence may affect many aspects of your life. Do your best to overcome this charge.
Perseverance and optimism
It is time to protect yourself if accused of domestic violence. The first step is to secure the services of a reliable attorney. Understandably, this is a difficult time for you as these accusations have upended your life. Perseverance is crucial and so is optimism.