Domestic violence convictions are criminal charges in Washington. If you are facing domestic violence charges, it's critical that you take them seriously. Law enforcement also takes these allegations very seriously. If you are involved in a situation that escalates to accusations of domestic violence, it is extremely important that you protect your rights. An experienced, assertive domestic violence attorney can help you understand and preserve your rights throughout the entire process.
Your Rights During a Domestic Violence Related Police Call
1. Your Right Not to Answer Questions
When law enforcement arrives, you must identify yourself to a police officer. You are not required under law to make any statements or to answer any questions. If you provide information directly or indirectly to the officer, all information can and likely will be used against you. Always wait to have a lawyer present before you make any statements.
2. Your Right to Legal Counsel
When a bad situation becomes worse with an arrest, you must be advised that you can speak to an attorney as soon as possible. When you request an attorney, the police may stop asking you to speak or answer questions until your lawyer is found.
Your Rights After an Arrest
3. Your Right to Request to be Released from Jail
After you are arrested and remanded to jail, you can ask a judge to address your detention and recommend bail. Usually, you are taken to court within several days of your arrest. Domestic violence charges carry a “no bail” hold so if you are arrested on a holiday or weekend, you will remain in jail until the courts are open.
4. Your Right to Receive an Official Notice Outlining Your Charges and Penalties
When you are charged, you have the right to receive official notice of exactly what charges are being pressed. The notice will also supply maximum minimum penalties that you could face, if convicted.
These are the rights you have before facing your charges in court. With a serious charge of domestic violence looming, you will need to talk with a domestic violence attorney to plan your strategy to defeat the charges. You have additional rights that your attorney can help you navigate.
As with all charges, you have the right to represent yourself in court. Any judge is going to require the same level of decorum from you as with any veteran attorney. If you do not understand the court rules and procedures as they relate to you and your case, you could end up with court penalties as well, not to mention a case that may be impossible for you to win on your own.
Steve Karimi, a former prosecutor, spent years holding criminals accountable for their charges. Today, he helps everyday people solve their legal problems on the other side of the courtroom. Call to learn how Karimi Law can help you preserve your rights and fight your domestic violence charges today.