If you are involved in a domestic dispute and the police are called to the site, they will oftentimes use their own judgment to decide who is the victim and who is the aggressor. Unfortunately, their assumptions are not always correct. This mostly happens between a man and a woman, with the belief that the man was the main aggressor in the situation. Once the law enforcement makes up their mind who should be charged, it can be very difficult to refute their story. If you are ever in involved a domestic violence altercation, you must protect yourself. The recommendations on how to protect yourself are below.
1. Remain Calm
It is imperative to remain calm in this situation. If you are extremely emotional or agitated, it is very likely you could be seen as the aggressor and not the victim. Don’t raise your voice or show physical aggression signs when police arrive. Take deep breaths and clear your thoughts.
2. Don’t Say Anything
Although you may believe you did not do anything wrong, they very well may believe you did. When the officers ask you questions, politely decline to answer and request to speak to an attorney. Emotions are typically very high during these situations, and you may say something you will later regret or that they can perceive as an admission of guilt.
3. Speak to a Domestic Violence Lawyer
At the earliest possible time, contact an attorney. The timing is important, as you want to make sure the incident is still on the top of your mind. It may help to write down everything you remember about the issue to help you recall at a late time. If you attempt to go through the legal process on your own, you may be hit with harsh penalties that can affect your future in a very negative way. A good attorney will help you get an investigator on the case right away, and help support the evidence you believe is impactful in your situation.
4. Take Photos
Many times after police have decided who the aggressor is, they will begin to focus only on the victim. That involves taking photographs of the perceived victim, and ignoring any injuries of evidence of the other person involved. It is in your best interest to take pictures of your own injuries, as law enforcement may not always show any concern if they believe you were not the victim. It is important to take high quality photographs in good lighting to highlight your injuries.
5. Technology Can Be Your Friend
Evidence that comes from electronic sources may be able to help you defend your side of the story. If you have saved text messages or voicemails showing you were not the aggressor, it might help you in court. It is important to preserve any electronic evidence that can help your point of view. Cell phones can be beneficial because they place timestamps on almost any data, including videos, phone calls, text messages, etc. Make sure you move quickly in presenting this evidence to your attorney in order to make sure the data is not deleted or lost.
If you end up in a situation where you are accused of domestic violence, it is important to follow these steps. If you have any further questions about what to do after an issue involving your significant other, please contact us immediately for answers.