Domestic violence, or abuse is a form of harm committed by a person in the victim’s domestic circle. This includes current and ex-partners, immediate and distant family members and friends. Domestic violence usually occurs when there is a pattern of behavior/s in the relationship used to gain power and control over a situation. There are many forms of abuse that fall under domestic violence. For example: child abuse, abuse to the elderly, honor killings, sexual abuse, economic abuse, and threats. Emotional and psychological abuse are also forms of domestic violence.
What to do if You are Accused of Domestic Violence
In the U.S., domestic violence reports are taken very seriously, even though many people accused of domestic violence were actually acting in self-defense. There will always be an arrest made when a domestic violence report is made. In New York State specifically, an officer can arrest you just based on probable cause to believe that domestic violence is occurring. Once you are arrested, even if the victim relinquishes their statement, the state can still charge and prosecute you.
If the police show up to arrest you for domestic violence, it is important that you keep your mouth shut. Domestic violence involves two parties who know each other very well, so in the moment of your arrest, you may be emotional and tell the police information that can come back to haunt you. However, once you are arrested for domestic violence, do not try to talk your way out of the arrest because you will be arrested regardless. Even in cases where the victim just wants to make a report, the defendant will still be arrested. The police will try to ask you questions, but do not naively answer them. Instead, tell the police that you will not answer any questions. You should immediately retain an attorney because the police are prohibited from further questioning you.
Whatever you tell the police can be used as evidence against you. Additionally, all sworn witness statements can be evidence used against you. This includes a witness statement written by the victim, even if they wrote the statement in an emotional state. The police may also offer body camera footage of the incident, if they were present, which will also be used against you.
If you are arrested, you should alert a trusted family member, or friend that you have been arrested, and that you need help getting bailed out. You should also notify your family and friends that you need to retain an attorney as soon as possible.
At The Law Office of Yifei He, PLLC, our lawyer has years of experience helping clients overcome a wide range of legal barriers. With our attorney by your side, you can navigate this process with efficiency and confidence.
Request your free initial consultation by calling 1 (917) 338-7678 or sending us an online message today.