SETTLING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES OUT OF COURT
- Victim’s Rights
- Protective Orders and EPO’s
- Immigration Safe Plea Negotiations
- Former prosecutors and police officers now on YOUR side
- Staff fluent in Spanish, Hindi, Farsi and Hebrew
Do not gamble with your future. Accusations related to domestic violence can be devastating to you, your family and your career. Once an accusation is made it is critical that you have a knowledgeable expert on your side.
CAN I SETTLE THIS OUT OF COURT?
Yes – it is often possible for us to settle your matter out of court. How we can assist you will depend on where your case is procedurally, and the exact nature of the accusations against you. Some of the things that Summit Defense Attorneys can do in your case include:
- Contact complaining witness despite an Emergency Protective Order
- Finding out who the DA is in your case;
- Securing representation for the victim in some cases; Victims have rights
- Suggest resources like family counseling or anger management classes;
- Present exculpatory and positive character evidence to the prosecution, before charges are filed;
- Make the DA aware of problems with their case before charges are filed.
As we have discussed, the priority of law enforcement and the DA in these cases is very often an arrest, followed by the swift filing of charges, and obtaining a restraining order. So for our efforts to be most effective, it is essential to contact us as soon as possible.
WHAT IF I GO TO COURT WITHOUT A LAWYER?
Having legal representation is not only your right, but your best chance of fighting the case against you. Summit Defense Attorneys have handled many domestic violence matters where we have been able to influence the process by presenting mitigating evidence to the DA to have charges dismissed, and where we have also been able to assist our client, and their family, access services to help them deal with conflict in a more positive way in the future.
People accused of domestic violence cannot afford to ignore the allegations, or think that they are something minor that can be sorted out privately. The policies and the laws behind them make it very clear that the police will take action in almost all cases, and the prosecution will fight for a conviction. The operation of these policies make it vital that anyone who is accused of a domestic violence offense have a skilled and experienced legal representative – this is not something that anyone should try to deal with by themselves.
You should seek legal representation because these cases can have very serious repercussions. A domestic violence charge exposes you to the risks of a criminal record, large fines and jail time, as well as the humiliation and damage to your reputation, and the difficulties of living with a restraining order and being separated from your family. If you are not a US citizen, you face the additional risk to your immigration status – which is why we have an expert immigration attorney on our team.
In a recent case that we defended, our client was a prominent attorney who, in the course of a night out drinking, got into an argument with his wife. On the way home, the fight escalated and, by the time the police arrived at his home later that night, they found his wife with some injuries, the most serious being a bloody nose. The police arrested him for Penal Code 273.5 inflicting injury on his spouse – a felony – and took him to the police station. He secured bail, but because the police had applied for an emergency restraining order, he was unable to return home and prohibited from contacting his wife.
Our client told us that he had been arrested despite his wife’s insistence that they were both responsible for the argument. She had tried to explain the situation to police, and that they both had suggested that he spend a night at a friend’s house to let things cool down instead of the police arresting anyone. The police had ignored them both, however, and arrested our client.
We immediately went to work on our client’s case. Our attorney:
- spoke to our client’s wife, who assured us that she was also responsible for the fight, and that she wanted her husband to be able to come back home;
- made contact with the DA who was handling the matter;
- at the first court appearance, persuaded the judge to change the restraining order to a peaceful contact order, so as our client could return home and communicate with his wife;
- presented mitigating and character evidence to the DA;
- told the DA about the problems they would have in their case – primarily, that our client’s wife would not be co-operative, would not speak to the DA, and would not testify against her husband; and
- referred the couple to counseling.
Due to our attorney’s work in presenting this case in the most positive light, and bringing the serious difficulties with the case to the attention of the DA, we were able to persuade the DA to drop the case. This case demonstrates how much a skilled attorney can influence the process in your case, especially when involved at the pre-file stage.