What to Do When You’re Accused of Domestic Violence
False accusations of domestic violence happen every day. People falsely accuse domestic partners for several reasons, such as anger and revenge, or to get the upper hand in divorce proceedings or a child custody battle. If you are facing accusations of domestic violence, it is important to act quickly to get a skilled criminal defense attorney in your corner. Effective legal representation early in the case can make a significant difference in the outcome.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence in the Eyes of the Law?
Domestic violence is willful physical assault, battery, intimidation, sexual assault, or other abusive behavior toward a domestic partner or household member. Under Wyoming law, domestic abuse includes:
- Physical abuse
- Threats of physical abuse
- Attempts to cause physical harm or unreasonably restrain personal liberty
- Acts that instill fear of immediate physical harm
- Acts that cause unreasonable fear of physical harm in the near future
- Making a domestic partner engage in sex or sexual activity through duress, force, or threat of force
What Are Domestic Violence Charges?
There is no actual crime of domestic violence. It is a category of criminal offenses, based on the relationship between the alleged victim and the accused. Domestic violence offenses in Wyoming may include:
- Assault — attempting to cause bodily injury to another using physical force
- Battery – intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another through physical force
- Strangulation – attempting to cause bodily injury to a household member by impeding the victim’s ability to breathe or blood circulation
- Recklessness – an act committed without regard for the outcome, but not necessarily with intent to harm
- Aggravated assault – assault with a deadly weapon or involving substantial violence or harm
- Violation of a domestic protection order
What Should You Do If You Have Been Arrested or Accused of Domestic Violence?
If you have been accused of or arrested for domestic violence, cooperate with the police but do not give them a statement – exercise your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. If a temporary no contact order has been issued, do not break it. Do not contact the alleged victim, even if he or she contacts you first. Speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Can Social Media Impact a Domestic Violence Case?
Posts on social media could provide the prosecution with incriminating evidence against you in a domestic violence case. Prosecutors may search social media for pictures, videos, posts, or messages to provide unknown evidence, fill in information gaps, or confirm or contradict a statement you have made. Comments you may make in anger about the accused on a social media platform can be used to cast a negative light on your character. It is best to stay off social media entirely and ask friends and family not to post anything about you, while domestic violence charges are pending.
When Should You Contact a Lawyer?
The sooner you get defense counsel involved, the better in a domestic violence case. Take action as soon as possible after you are arrested. Early intervention, before the charges are filed or the first hearing is held, could result in the charges being reduced or dismissed altogether in some cases. A skilled criminal defense attorney at your arraignment (first court appearance) can help protect your rights and get you out of jail sooner in case the prosecution is seeking a no contact order or excessive bail.
Our Gillette trial attorneys at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. have an excellent work ethic and an impressive win/loss record in the courtroom. We can help you navigate the criminal justice system and ensure your rights are always upheld. If you have been accused of domestic violence, contact us today at (307) 257-7800 to schedule a free case strategy session.
Your FREE Case Strategy Session
On All Injury and Criminal Cases
Contact our office right now to speak to
someone who wants to help you.