San Bernardino domestic violence attorney serving Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Victorville & all of San Bernardino County
Sometimes what starts as a normal disagreement between people quickly gets out of hand. Arguments which involve violence or the threat of violence often means that someone is going to be arrested once 911 is called. If the argument is between spouses, partners, boyfriend and girlfriend, cohabitants, or people who have children together, special laws apply. These types of crimes are often referred to as “domestic violence” crimes. And no longer are only men arrested for these fights - females in the relationships are just as likely as men to be arrested and charged. If you or your loved one is facing these types of charges, contact experienced San Bernardino domestic violence attorney Marcie Gardner right away.
Building A Defense Early in the Case
By hiring an experienced domestic violence attorney, you can get a jump start on your defense. More so than other kinds of cases, claims of domestic violence might be made up or exaggerated. If the alleged victim in the case has a motive or reason to claim you did something wrong (to help a pending divorce or custody case, or made out of anger or jealousy over something else), gathering this type of evidence can be crucial for your defense. Also, an experienced domestic violence attorney will want to get statements from any witnesses to the alleged abuse before memories fade or the witnesses no longer want to get involved. If there is no history of violence, an attorney will want to start gathering character reference letters on your behalf.
If you did engage in some type of violence or threat of violence with your partner, an experienced domestic violence attorney like Marcie Gardner can talk with you about things you can do to help potentially minimize the consequences from the court case. If you hit the other person but only in self defense, that may be a defense to the charge.
What if the Person No Longer Wants to Press Charges Against Me?
This is the most common question attorney Marcie Gardner gets from her clients charged with domestic violence. The answer is not as simple as you might think. Whether to drop a case or keep pursuing it is not up to the person who initially filed the police report. Instead, this decision is left up to the District Attorney’s Office prosecuting the case. These prosecutors are very used to people who initially complained about domestic violence later changing their minds about wanting the case to go forward. Even if the person no longer wants to press charges, the case can still be prosecuted. The District Attorney’s Office can subpoena the alleged victim to court. If that person changes his or her story about what happened, the prosecutor can use that person’s initial statement to the police in an effort to prove that you committed a crime.
Having said this, sometimes the fact that a person does not want the case to go forward can help (especially if the reason is that the person either lied in the first case or exaggerated what really happened). An experienced domestic violence attorney can give you an honest assessment of the impact this may have on your case. However, if you were arrested for domestic violence, it is critical for you to understand that under no circumstances should you ever talk about this with the alleged victim in your case. If it appears that you are pressuring or threatening someone to “change their story,” that conduct can result in additional criminal charges being filed against you. It can also make it more difficult to resolve your domestic violence case on terms favorable to you.
What Will Happen if I’m Convicted of a Domestic Violence Charge?
The punishment for domestic violence crimes depends greatly on whether the person suffered any injuries (and if so, the amount of injuries), your criminal background, and the circumstances of the case. These cases can either be filed as felonies or misdemeanors. A conviction can carry some type of incarceration as well as a year-long domestic violence program. Some courts have special domestic violence courts where you need to report to on a regular basis while on probation for the court to monitor your progress.
Seek Aggressive But Compassionate Legal Counsel
These cases are often emotional for clients. The cases often remind them of bad times in their lives and struggles with someone they care about. Attorney Gardner understands the dynamics of these cases, having helped many clients over the years with these difficult charges.
When working with Marcie, your initial consultation is always free of charge. No fee whatsoever. To contact San Bernardino domestic violence attorney Marcie Gardner, call 909.635.2047.
Please call today.