What to Do When Facing Domestic Violence ChargesPeople tend to think of themselves as invincible right up until they’re proven not to be. Being charged with a crime is one of those sobering moments. Anyone, no matter how innocent or pure or good, can be accused of a crime.

When the crime is something like domestic violence, the odds are against you from the start. While the laws come from a good place (aka wanting to minimize as many victims and prevent as much future abuse as possible), the drive to “prove the bad guy is the bad guy” can cause courts to really dance on that line of right vs. unjust.

If you’re facing domestic violence charges in Annapolis and did a little Googling to see what you’re up against, you might have noticed pretty much all available official information is about what VICTIMS should do. But here, I want to explain what the prosecution doesn’t want you to know when you’ve been accused.

Understanding what you’re up against in criminal court

Now, a lot of people find themselves accidentally facing domestic violence charges simply because they didn’t realize how much can theoretically count against them. Truth is, it’s not all about breaking bones and causing visible bruises, and it even goes beyond stalking and false imprisonment (though all of these are very, very serious charges). When it’s between two romantic partners, anything that places a person in fear of bodily harm can count as domestic violence.

So, what does this include? Threats (even via text), revenge porn (posting someone else’s nudes without their consent — usually to get back at them for something), punching a wall, and even shouting enough can all be used against you. And, before it even gets to that point, cops really don’t need any physical evidence to haul you down to the station if they have reason to suspect domestic violence. They can just show up and rip you out of your life, even if your accuser takes back the accusation.

Domestic violence is a form of assault, and because of that, its penalties can get incredibly severe. No matter your reasoning behind what happened, the court would still view it as assault and treat the case as such — they just have to consider what you say before they make the decision to convict or not. So if you’re facing these charges, especially if it’s for alleged physical violence of some sort, you potentially face decades behind bars. Even the most minor of penalties permanently stain your reputation and hurt your ability to live your life the way you deserve. That is why it is so important to take ANY domestic violence charges seriously and prepare for your case as much as you can.

Why having the right Annapolis domestic abuse defense attorney makes all the difference

Here’s what the other side doesn’t want you to know: it is, in fact, possible to beat these charges. No matter how severe they are or what evidence exists against you, there are always options to explore to mitigate or drop as many penalties as possible. If you’re facing domestic violence charges, there are things you can do to give yourself the best shot at proving your innocence:

  • Resist the urge to delete anything anywhere, even if you think it’s incriminating. Especially if, actually. Anything deleted can be recovered and it will never look good for you, whether it was a joke you just didn’t want them taking seriously or an old fight neither of you brought up again. Meanwhile, your attorney can work with the evidence that exists and figure out ways to cast doubt on its credibility.
  • Don’t post anything about the case, at all, anywhere. You don’t have to resist deleting that which you never tweeted, as I’m sure Aristotle once said. But once this puppy goes to trial, it’s public record and public knowledge, which means not only can the court look at your social media posts — but any stranger or follower can use those posts to find all the dirt on your pending charges.
  • Do not try to defend yourself in court. Legally, you don’t have to hire an attorney – but for charges like these, not working with one is a mistake.  Swallow your pride, no matter how innocent you are, and get help.
  • In a similar vein, be honest with your attorney about everything. We’re not going to turn against you. It’s our job to protect your rights and freedom as much as possible, and we can’t do that without all the facts. For example, let’s say you did it. You assaulted your partner. If you are honest with your attorney about that and explain what happened (such as telling us about your PTSD diagnosis/veteran status or admitting a drug or alcohol addiction), we can do things like work to get you into psychological help or rehabilitation centers instead of behind bars.
  • Vet your legal representation carefully. Not all criminal defense attorneys are created equal. Not only do you want someone with specific experience involving domestic violence cases, you also want to make sure they’re well-reviewed and usually successful. The right Annapolis criminal defense attorney for you will be able to tailor everything about your defense to your situation. From proving an alibi to discrediting witnesses to claiming self-defense and more, they can really be the difference between a misdemeanor charge and a prison-worthy felony.

I’m Drew Cochran, and I know all this stuff for a reason. Namely, because I’ve been walking the walk for more than 20 years as an Annapolis domestic violence defense attorney and I’m very used to all the tricks prosecutors try to pull. With tireless and judgement-free representation, I know how to prepare you for what’s ahead and help you every step of the way. So, if you’re facing domestic violence charges in Annapolis or Ellicott City, call Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law at 410-271-1892 or fill out our contact form. Later is better than never, but sooner is best. Don’t make your freedom wait longer than it needs to.

Just Remember — Keep Calm, and Call Drew!