If you are in a relationship for any period of time, you will get in an argument with your significant other. Hurtful words may be exchanged, and things can get heated. Most of the time, things do not escalate too much, you and your partner will make up, and life will go on. Sometimes, however, all those emotions can lead to police pulling up in your driveway and you winding up in the back of a squad car, arrested and charged with domestic violence. The events that led to your arrest may seem like they happened in the blink of an eye, without the police or anyone else listening to what you have to say about what happened.
In shock, maybe angry, and worried about what may happen next, especially if you have been falsely accused – a not uncommon occurrence. You need to make some important choices very quickly in order to keep a difficult situation from getting worse. The law is very specific and clear about the process and procedures leaving little discretion for law enforcement even if the case against you appears to be weak. For example, when a person in Colorado Springs is arrested or charged with domestic violence, that person must remain in jail until they appear before a judge.
A conviction for Colorado domestic violence can not only result in significant jail time, but also the loss of employment opportunities and restrictions on how and when you can spend time with your kids.
If you’ve been arrested and charged with domestic violence in Colorado Springs, make sure you take these three critical steps to give yourself the best chance of a positive outcome:
Call a domestic violence defense attorney immediately
Of all the things you can do after a domestic violence arrest, trying to handle the situation on your own may be the worst. Without an experienced domestic violence defense attorney protecting your rights and guiding you through next steps, you could make damaging admissions or bad choices based on mistaken presumptions about how domestic violence charges work. Many people believe that if their spouse “drops the charges,” the situation will be resolved. The reality, however, is that only prosecutors can decide whether to continue to seek a conviction. Relying on that mistaken belief, or the faith that the truth will inevitably come out at trial, is a recipe for a guilty verdict. A skilled domestic violence defense attorney gives you the best chance at successfully navigating this difficult time without a life-altering conviction.
It is important in domestic violence cases to document everything. The more records a party has, the more support they may have for their side of what is often a “he said/she said” situation. In many cases, the person accused of domestic violence is actually the victim of domestic violence. “Defensive injuries” can include scratch marks, bite wounds, bruises, lacerations, and other injuries. Document any injuries by taking photos immediately after the incident.
Follow any court orders
In some domestic violence cases, the judge will order the accused to have “no contact” with the alleged victim. Such orders may prohibit the accused from seeing, calling, texting, emailing, or approaching the other person, among other limitations. No matter how unjust you feel the accusations are, no matter how unfair you think the judge’s order may be, do not violate any no-contact order, even if the alleged victim assures you that he or she wishes to drop the charges or wants you to come home. Judges do not like their orders being ignored or defendants who think they have the right to modify orders on their own. Your attorney can help you modify or eliminate the order through the proper means, relieving you from its burdens without putting you at risk for more problems.
Colorado domestic violence charges are serious and can be complicated to defend. You need to make sure you handle the situation correctly in order to put the ordeal behind you with as little damage to your life as possible. Consulting with a Colorado Springs domestic violence attorney as soon as possible is the best thing you can do to make that happen.