The reality of domestic violence.
Domestic violence has become an area of major concern in our society. Here are just a few reasons why:
- A woman is assaulted or beaten every nine seconds.
- Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined.
- The costs of intimate partner violence in the US alone exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.
Athletes, musicians, actors and other celebrities are frequently the subject of family violence accusations and the public outcry to do something gets increasingly more vocal. Although it is true that both sexes are subjected to domestic violence, 85 percent of intimate partner violence victims are women.
Domestic violence charges in Passaic County are not limited to intimate partner violence, of course. Child abuse and neglect are often the grounds upon which such charges are brought.
We are frequently reminded we should always believe the accuser because to do otherwise would have a chilling effect on the willingness of victims (especially women and children) to come forward. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? Sure it does, unless you are accused of domestic violence charges in Passaic County and those charges are false.
It has been reported that 700,000 people are wrongfully accused of domestic violence every year. If this has happened to you, you are not alone. Of course, knowing it happens to many others is of little comfort if you are facing false charges of intimate partner violence or other domestic violence.
So what do you do? How do you contest domestic violence charges in Passaic County?
Do not take it lightly.
First and foremost, make no mistake that if you are facing domestic violence charges in Passaic Country, your situation is very, very serious.
Depending on the outcome of the case, you may find that your life is significantly and, in some instances, irreversibly altered. In addition to the possibility, if not likelihood, of a jail sentence, your job may be at risk, you may lose the freedom to move about as you will and child visitation and custody rights may be impacted or terminated completely.
If the matter involves allegations of sexual assault or deviance, you may be placed on a registry of sex offenders which will certainly cause you additional difficulties. Even if you are ultimately not convicted, your reputation may be tainted beyond repair and, human nature being what it is, there will always be those who will consider you “guilty as charged.”
Clearly, defending against domestic violence charges in Passaic County is not something you want to do on your own. You need an attorney and not just any attorney will do. As domestic violence is a matter for the criminal justice system, you want a criminal law attorney experienced in handling family and intimate partner violence cases.
If you have been unjustly charged with domestic violence charges in Passaic Country, you are painfully aware of how traumatic and unfair the experience is. These types of charges can occur at any time. However:
When a separation or divorce is pending, it is not uncommon for domestic violence allegations to be exaggerated, misconstrued or fabricated entirely. RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting) reports that allegations of domestic abuse and requests for protection orders are increasingly used for tactical advantages in divorces.
If this is the situation in which you find yourself, the need for solid legal advice, emotional guidance, good judgment and caution cannot be overstated.
What you can do?
Hire legal counsel, of course, but before you hire an attorney (and at all times thereafter) the most important thing for you to do is, simply put, keep your cool. If your spouse or significant other alleges that you engaged in violent conduct, responding in anger is the worst possible way to deal with those allegations going forward.
You’ll simply make it easier for the prosecution to show that you are someone whose anger makes you prone to violence and are, therefore, a risk to others.
To defend yourself against domestic violence charges in Passaic County, you will need to overcome the bias that is inherent in society against the accused. The accuser will be believed in the majority of “he said, she said” cases, especially if the victim is female or a child.
As a result, your case will require the gathering of detailed information, witness statements about the relationship in particular and your character in general, and any and all other evidence that bolsters your credibility or weakens that of the accuser.
Clearly then, the competence of your lawyer is critical. To ensure that you choose the right one, the following should be taken into consideration:
Where the lawyer went to law school.
Although not a major factor, the education an attorney received is the foundation upon which his or her career is built. Not every great law school produces great lawyers, but few poor ones do.
The number of years the lawyer has been in practice.
The more years in practice, the more situations an attorney encounters. Those that are successful handle those situations competently, focusing always on the best interests of the client.
Experience in representing clients against domestic violence charges in Passaic County.
Life as you know it may cease to exist if your attorney does not have the knowledge and experience to deal with intimate partner violence or family violence cases.
Simply having criminal law experience may not be sufficient. These cases involve certain procedural and administrative requirements. The outcome frequently turns on the findings of special investigators, social services workers, physicians, psychologists and law enforcement officers.
Successful navigation of this landscape is essential if you are to come out of the case with your freedom and reputation intact.
Trial preparation and trial presentation are equally important.
A lawyer uncomfortable at trial will not serve you well in the face of an aggressive prosecutor.
Identifying key issues, recognizing weakness in evidence or testimony and possessing the ability to effectively cross-examine witnesses or shift the focus of the case mid-stream are all hallmarks of exactly the successful type of criminal law attorney you will want to represent you against domestic violence charges in Passaic County.