Domestic Violence Defense

The Court Process

Arrest

If charged with domestic violence, you will be arrested by a police officer. A police officer can arrest you based on probable cause or a warrant from a judge. You may be processed at the scene and given court summons documentation, or you may be processed at the police station. If you are brought to the police station, you might be released on a promise to appear in court, or a bail hearing will be held in which a judge will determine bail. Your attorney can help get bail granted in this situation. If bail is granted, you can be released from jail so long as you can post a bond. If you cannot post a bond on your own, you can contact a relative, friend, or bail bondsman to post it for you.

In a domestic violence case, the judge may grant bail with certain conditions. These conditions might include:

  • Cooperation with the Family Relations office.
  • Limited contact with your family members.
  • Counseling
  • Complying with a protective order.

 

As always, you must appear in court for your hearings if you have been released from jail.

Pretrial Negotiations

Before your trial takes place, your lawyer will have the opportunity to meet with the prosecution behind closed doors in order to discuss the case. Your attorney might convince the prosecution that the case should not go to trial, considering the amount of evidence that the defense has and the lack of evidence on the part of the prosecution. If this is the case, your case might be dismissed altogether, or you might be offered a plea bargain. An attorney can help you determine if taking the plea bargain or going to trial is in your best interest.

Family Violence Education Program

The Family Violence Education Program (FVEP) is a diversionary program available to those charged with some types of family violence crimes. If you are facing a first offense, or if you have never used this program, you are eligible to use it. If the program is granted, you can be released to the family violence intervention unit for up to two years. If you compete this program, the charges that have been brought against you will be dismissed. Participation in this program will cost you $200.

Evidentiary Hearing

If the case can’t be resolved in the pretrial stages, both the defense and the prosecution have the opportunity to file motions. Generally, the defense will file motions asking that certain evidence not be used in court because it was attained illegally. For example, if you were not read your Miranda rights, a confession may not be used in court, because it will be considered illegally obtained. At this time, the defense should also ask to see “discovery” or the evidence that the prosecution has and will use at trial. Discovery might include witnesses that the prosecution will call and evidence that the prosecution has gathered.

Penalties

If your case goes to trial, it will be tried by a jury. If you are found not guilty, the charges will be dropped and you will be free to go. If you are found guilty, you face the following penalties.

Felonies

Class A Penalties

  • 10-25 years in prison
  • Fine of up to $20,000.

Class B Penalties

  • 1-20 year prison sentence
  • Fine of up to $15,000.

Class C Penalties

  • 1-10 year prison sentence
  • Fine of up to $10,000.

Class D Penalties

  • 1-5 year prison sentence
  • Fine of up to $5,000.

Misdemeanors

Class A Penalties

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Fine of up to $2,000.

Class B Penalties

  • Up to six months in jail
  • Fine of up to $1,000.

Class C Penalties

  • Up to three months in jail
  • Fine of up to $300.

Why Hire Bansley Anthony

Your lawyer can help determine the variation of punishment that you should receive. He or she can argue for a lesser punishment if it is appropriate in your situation.

To begin protecting your rights and building your defense today, you should contact a domestic violence defense attorney. We can fight for you, answer your questions, and stand by you. Give us a call today.