When partners and family members fight, there is the potential for an argument to spiral out of control. Add in factors like alcohol or drugs, and the situation can become even more volatile. Under these circumstances, altercations can come to an abrupt end when police show up and make an arrest.
If this has happened to you and you wound up in handcuffs and arrested, it is crucial that you take your situation seriously and seek legal counsel. Even if you think you didn't do anything wrong, domestic violence allegations can still cause damage.
- They can hurt your reputation. Domestic assault charges could adversely affect your standing in the community and among your loved ones, especially if details of your arrest show up in news stories or are easy to track down online with a quick search.
- They can come back to haunt you during custody disputes. Even if you are not convicted, the other parent of your child could claim that you have a history of violence or anger during custody disputes. Depending on the other details of the situation, such claims could affect a judge's opinion of your parenting capabilities and the resulting custody agreement.
- They can cost you your job. In some cases, criminal allegations can affect employment, particularly if you work in areas like education. Further, if you miss work because you are detained by police, you might be at risk of losing your job.
- They can disrupt your daily life. Often, assault charges result in a protective order that prohibits you from contacting certain people and going certain places. This can mean that you have move out of your house (even temporarily), disassociate yourself from loved ones and avoid going certain places you might frequent.
If you are convicted of domestic assault, then the criminal consequences only get harsher and more damaging.
With all this in mind, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to protect yourself if someone accuses you of domestic violence. Remember that you are innocent until proven guilty, and you have the right to defend yourself against these criminal charges to minimize the impact they might have on your life.