How best to defend against a Domestic Violence charge?

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How best to defend against a Domestic Violence charge?

I unintentionally took to many Xanax and had a really bad reaction that caused me to hallucinate and become violent towards my partner. I’m trying to build my defense right now; my partner does not anything to happen to me. The 911 call was for my help and yes there was words of abuse in the call. I want to be proactive and seek help. Will the court look at that as being a positive? We want the felony dropped if possible. No criminal record. Not sure what kind of counseling I or we should seek? Any recommendations on my steps to take before I go to court? Steps to having this dropped?

Asked on February 8, 2011 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Get an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you--an experienced attorney will know best how to negotiate, bargin, position, etc. your specific case, and will also know how to attack any evidence or testimony, if appropriate.

2) Don't say anything to anyone until you have your attorney. You have a constitutional right to remain silent (right against self-incrimination); exercise it.

3) In the interim, looking for help--e.g. possibly voluntarily seeking counseling for impulse control or violence or drug addition (whatever seems most appropriate to your situation; and a reputable counselor in one area would refer you to another if that seems more what you need)--would help show good intentions and being proactive.

4) Keep your nose clean--no violations or criminal or threatening actions of any kind.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, getting a really good attorney to go with you to court.  You are also on the right track as to getting yourself in to a program voluntarily (i.e., without being ordered by the court) before you go to court.  This definitely shows the court that this is not how you wish to be in life and that you are getting help. Is this the first time anything like this happened?  That is a plus for you as well.  It does not pay for you to go this alone.  You will need very good legal help in order to help this matter.  If you are really serious about having the charge reduced from a felony then you need some muscle on your side.  


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