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Three Steps to Take After a San Bernardino County Domestic Violence Arrest
If you’ve been arrested and charged with domestic violence in San Bernardino County, you may be scared, in shock, or physically hurt. During such times, it’s important to try to think clearly and take some steps that can go a long way towards protecting yourself, your rights, and your future.
The San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office takes an aggressive approach to domestic violence crimes, with a special Family Violence Unit dedicated to domestic violence and other crimes involving families.
While the circumstances of your San Bernardino County domestic violence arrest may be chaotic, these three steps can ultimately put you in a better position to fight the charges against you:
Get a lawyer now.
One of the biggest mistakes that those accused of domestic violence can make is believing that they can handle the situation on their own so long as they reconcile with the alleged victim. The reality is that San Bernardino County prosecutors can and will continue to seek a conviction even if the alleged victim no longer is interested in pressing charges. Making up won’t make the charges go away. The consequences of a domestic violence conviction can affect your life for decades and while there are strong defenses that can be made, proceeding without an attorney is putting yourself and your future at risk. The sooner an experienced San Bernardino County criminal defense lawyer can begin working on your defense and communicate with prosecutors, the better chance you have of a positive outcome.
Document and get medical attention for any injuries.
The violence in many domestic violence situations is not always a one-way street. A spouse accused of domestic violence may have in fact been the victim and may have suffered injuries as a result of acting in self-defense. If you have suffered any such defensive injuries, it is important that you document them as thoroughly as possible by taking photos and seeking medical attention for those injuries. Pictures and medical records can be vital pieces of evidence in your defense.
Follow any court orders
You may in fact be wrongfully accused of domestic violence. While you may know that your arrest was unjustified and that the charges against you are false, you shouldn’t ignore any court order that may have been entered limiting your contact with your spouse or another alleged victim. Follow the court’s order as any violation will only make your situation worse. Once you’ve retained an attorney, they can move to modify or remove any restrictions that have been placed on you.
If you have been arrested and charged with domestic violence in San Bernardino County, please give our experienced San Bernardino County criminal defense lawyers a call as soon as possible to discuss your case.
About the Author
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.