Is there any way to avoid having this on my record? This is one of the most common questions I get when talking to a client. The answer is “it depends”, largely on the facts of the case, the person’s criminal history, and working for the best possible outcome. When someone is charged with a crime they are obviously nervous. What will happen? Will you be locked away for years? Will you have to pay thousands in fines? Will you lose your job? What will your friends and family think about you?
Someone arrested for Domestic Violence charges in San Diego do have a lot to worry about, but the good news is that not all arrests lead to convictions, and with the help of a skilled Domestic Violence defense attorney, your legal rights and your future can be protected. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to discuss pretrial communications, mitigation packets, dismissals, and be on standby. You want a former Domestic Violence Prosecutor on your side. We have a proven approach forged by experience. Be proactive and call (858) 751-4384.
1. Pre-Trial Communications
One reason why it’s wise to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney is because of the work they can do before trial – this refers to pretrial communications. Depending on the facts of the case, sometimes we can get involved before formal charges are even filed against a client.
This typically involves being proactive and contacting the detective or investigator on the case before the case lands on the prosecutor’s desk. Or, if it’s too late for that, we get in touch with the prosecutor before the charge is filed. Especially in a case that is less serious, it’s possible to explain away what happened before the case makes it to a courtroom. But, this mostly works in cases with insufficient evidence or wrongfully accused clients. Most of these cases also require mitigation packets, which we will discuss below.
2. Seeking a Dismissal
If a defendant is innocent and the police and prosecutor are convinced otherwise, the defendant may have to wait until the prosecutor files charges. However, just because charges are filed, it doesn’t mean the defendant will have to endure a stressful trial.
When an accused person meets with their criminal attorney for the first time, the defendant will explain their side of the story and if relevant, their relationship with the alleged victim. After this initial client meeting, the defense lawyer will weigh their client’s defense strategies and legal options.
Often, the defense will investigate the incident and gather evidence, such as witness declarations. Once the defense attorney has enough evidence, he or she may try to persuade the state to dismiss the case against their client. However, defense counsel has to be cautious. They must avoid giving the prosecutor too many details before a possible trial. They don’t want to show all their cards. You want a former Domestic Violence Prosecutor on your side. We have a proven approach forged by experience. Be proactive and call (858) 751-4384.
3. Mitigation packets
t’s a scene that plays out in homes in San Diego and across the United States every day. A husband and wife are enjoying a few drinks to wind down after a long, stressful day. Something as simple as realizing they forgot to pay the electric bill quickly spirals into a heated argument. Things are said, things are thrown and the cops are called.
The result of this common scene will be the police walking onto the stage, and hauling someone – usually the man – to jail on suspicion of domestic abuse as the curtain lowers on this ordinary American play. Life-changing charges are the next step, followed by fines, jail time, and a criminal conviction that will damage his reputation for the rest of his life.
Your Play Can End Differently
Many domestic violence cases don’t make it to the arraignment. This means you have a chance to act proactively and provide mitigating information that can result in a dismissal of your charges. The first step is to put an experienced defense lawyer on your side. In San Diego and surrounding communities, you can turn to the proven professionals at Premier Domestic Violence Law Group. Our firm is led by Mark Deniz, a former criminal prosecutor who understands these cases from both sides of the legal system.
By putting our team on your side, you can get proactive and put a “face to the case”. Up until now, things have been happening to you. Now is the time to make sure your side of the story is heard and present the prosecutor with a person to evaluate instead of relying on a police report as they decided whether to charge you with domestic violence.
We will get to work right away in creating a mitigation packet. This may include actions such as reaching out to the accuser or taking steps to enter substance abuse or anger management treatment. Besides increasing the possibility of heading off criminal charges or a trial, these actions can set you up to be the best version of yourself once this situation has passed.
Finding Exonerating Evidence
Most domestic violence cases consist of at least two vastly different accounts of what actually led to the 911 call and resulted in your arrest – the accuser and yours. When you hire the Premier Domestic Violence Law Group, we gather the following evidence in your defense.
- Have you been the victim of false allegations by a jealous and vindictive girlfriend or jilted lover?
- Is your accuser building a case against you to gain leverage in a child custody battle?
- Is the accuser a cohabitant, tenant in common, or joint owner of a property who stands to gain control of your mutual residence by means of a restraining order?
- Does your accuser stand to gain financial or property assets resulting from the charges against you?
- Is your accuser keeping your children from you as a form of revenge?
- Were you acting in justifiable self-defense?
- Did a fight ensue that resulted in an accidental and unintentional injury?
- Are you the victim of character defamation and harassment?
- Have you been the victim of chronic abuse and unusual cruelty?
- Are you not guilty by reason of temporary insanity?
- Did you act in the heat of passion?
- Were you involved in a love triangle?
- Were you protecting your children, pets, or personal property?
- What is the character and credibility of your accuser?
- Are there witnesses who can testify on your behalf?
- Does your accuser have a history of mental instability or psychiatric problems?
- Was your accuser taking any medication or narcotics that could have distorted his or her perception of reality?
- Was your accuser under the influence of alcohol and/or a habitual drinker?
- Has your accuser ever been involved with social services?
- What facts would be revealed by a background check of your accuser?
- Did you sustain any visible injuries or significant pain from the incident?
- Did you have reason to believe your life was in danger, therefore reacting in a state of fear and panic?
4. Be on standby
Sometimes, the best defense strategy is to sit back and do nothing – to let things play out. It can take months for the prosecutor to realize that he or she does not have enough evidence to convict a defendant, whether the evidence was seized illegally, or the alleged victim was lying, or the eyewitness turned out not to be credible.
A case can go away because the defense attorney’s pre-file motion is successful, such as one to dismiss illegally obtained evidence. It can also go away because the defense wins the pre-trial hearing and the prosecutor chooses not to file again. In conclusion, not all arrests or charges end in a conviction, but it all depends on the skill of the defense attorney and the strength of the prosecutor’s case. You want a former Domestic Violence Prosecutor on your side. We have a proven approach forged by experience. Be proactive and call (858) 751-4384.