What Are The Mistakes Detrimental To A Domestic Battery Case?
People tell their story. They talk to law enforcement officers all the time. That is always a problem in a criminal case and this is something that I try to tell everyone that has ever been my client or even thought of being my client. It is without a doubt do not talk to the authorities, do it through your attorney. The second mistake is they violate the pretrial orders. They make contact in some form or fashion, because they cannot leave their loved ones alone. It will land them back in to jail with a new charge and no bond. Those are the two typical problems that are associated with these kinds of cases.
What Are The Potential Penalties For A Domestic Battery Conviction?
If it is a misdemeanor, a person faces up to one year in the county jail and $1000 fine. For a felony; if it is a third degree felony, it is up to five years in the department of corrections prison program and a $5000 fine. Those are the maximum penalties.
Can Prosecution Ever Use Prior Charges That Were Dropped In A Domestic Battery Case?
Not in a criminal case; not in my area. Even with a conviction, I am pretty safe to say that they cannot bring that up just to put into evidence. Those are prior bad acts that would not be admissible.
Do You Ever Suggest Pretrial Counseling For Your Clients?
Almost always, at least to get an evaluation started. I tell them to go in and give them all the allegations. We take the written paper work if we have it, and give it to the client and tell them to take it with them and get an assessment. Show them what the accusations are, and if they suggest that you begin counseling, I would also suggest you do start counseling. It cannot hurt anything and if you have to stand before the court, you can tell the judge that you recognize the situation and have tried to take positive steps to keeping yourself from repeating it.
What Are The Steps Someone Should Take If They Are Charged With Domestic Battery?
The ideal steps are:
- When spoken to by law enforcement after arrest, tell them that you do not wish to speak to them. That you wish to speak with your attorney and remain silent.
- As soon as you are released, retain me as quickly as possible, so we can develop strategies and other options that might be available.
In my county, if it is a misdemeanor, there might be the availability of domestic violence intervention. If the person does not have a criminal history or at least a criminal felony history and it is a first time offense, they may be eligible to enter in to a six months anger management program. They have to enter a plea to the court, but if they are successful and the court accepts them and they are successful at the end of that six months, the court can withdraw that plea and dismiss the case against them.
A lot of people do not know that, so they enter pleas without having an attorney’s advice, because they are penny-wise and pound-foolish. They end up with more on their record and without the ability to keep their record clean. If only they had retained an attorney, they would have had that opportunity.
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