I Was Arrested for Domestic Violence, What Do I Do?
You should not make any statements to the police or anybody else about your case if you are arrested for domestic violence. Tell the cops that you're exercising your right to remain silent and that you'd like to speak with a lawyer before speaking with them. To persuade someone to make damning remarks, the police can say anything, including lying. It's unlikely that you'll be able to talk your way out of jail if the police want to interrogate you while you're in detention. Many police officers will arrest someone and leave nothing in the police report that could be useful.
Without reading you your Miranda rights, the police can use your out-of-custody statements against you. Because you are not yet under arrest, if the police arrive at your home and begin questioning you, your responses are fair game. Other legal exceptions and loopholes exist. The Truth In Evidence law in Proposition 115 allows the prosecution to use illegally obtained evidence and restricts a person the chance to confront their accuser.
When interacting with the police, maintain a calm and respectful demeanor. Avoid making any abrupt movements. Keep your hands visible at all times. Police officers are wary of responding to domestic violence complaints because they know it might be risky. It is a bad idea to talk to the police. The cops were rarely present when an event occurred. Their goal is to acquire evidence in order to bring charges against the individual they suspect committed the crime. They may choose to dismiss evidence that supports your case, such as a broken chair that your partner attempted to beat you with. Don't get too dismayed if you've already made a police statement denying any misconduct. It's possible that you didn't do any damage to your defense.
Make sure you go to court if you are released from detention before your initial court appearance, known as the Arraignment. If you don't, a bench warrant for your arrest will be issued by the judge. The more bench warrants a person has on their record, the more difficult it is to persuade a judge to release them on their promise to appear (own recognizance). If you need to appear in court on a specific date, the clerk's office in Room 101 provides a book of upcoming court dates. A book of bench warrants printouts is also available. If your name isn't in either book, stand in line and ask a clerk about your case's status. After being arraigned on their first day in court, defendants are usually assigned two mandatory attendance dates: a pretrial conference date and a trial date.
The person accused with domestic abuse, domestic assault, or terrorist threats will be compelled to appear in person with their attorney during the Arraignment. If the person charged does not have a counsel, they will be given time to find one or referred to the county public defender's office or another court-appointed lawyer if they are low-income. Domestic violence public defenders and court-appointed attorneys are the poor's safety net, and they often handle a huge proportion of all types of criminal cases. They are not necessarily domestic assault and battery specialists, and they may not be authorized to handle or counsel a client on the various charges that result from the arrest that domestic violence typically generates.
A person arrested for domestic violence may also be required to respond to a civil or family law court application for a domestic violence restraining order. The legal concerns will be distinct from those in the criminal case of domestic violence. In addition, an inappropriate response to a domestic violence restraining order request may jeopardize a person's Fifth Amendment right to be free from self-incrimination, as provided by the United States Constitution. For this reason, among others, it is critical that a person accused of domestic violence or a violent incident against a current or former spouse, partner, girlfriend, or boyfriend be represented by an attorney who is familiar with domestic violence criminal cases and domestic violence restraining order cases.