What are the First Steps After Being Accused of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault?

IMG_1864-300x200What should I do first?

You should call a lawyer right away. If you have not been arrested but think you might be soon, your lawyer could set up an arrangement to allow you to turn yourself in rather than have the PD show up to your house or even your job. If the PD is reaching out to you to get your side of the story, you should not speak to them without a lawyer present. This may be your chance to give your side of the story, but it is more likely that things will only get worse after this interview.

What should I do to help my case?

You need to lay low and keep a low profile. This means getting off or even deleting social media all together. Do not talk to anyone about what happened besides your attorney. Even if they are on your side now, things may change or they could be forced to testify in a future trial. Also, any texts about what happened could be obtained by the PD and the DA and used against you in the future. It may be hard to not explain what really happened to friends and family, but the less you say, the better.

You should however gather possible evidence that could help you. If you obtained injuries yourself, it may be helpful to your attorney and your case in the future to take pictures before they heal or can no longer be seen. If there were previous texts between you and the alleged victim that are helpful to you, take screen shots and send them to your attorney. Same goes for voicemail and other proof of your innocence. The truth will come out in time, but you need to be proactive.

What about speaking to the alleged victim?

DON’T. There is no benefit to this right now. Even if there is no order in place and you are allowed to speak or have contact, you are likely better off not communicating with them in any way. If they reach out to you, don’t be rude, but let them know you think it’s better if you don’t speak right now and let your attorney know as soon as possible.

If there is an order in place, absolutely do not speak to them even if they reach out first. It is not a crime for them to speak to you, but it is for you to respond and say anything back. This may be unfair, but you need to follow these rules in order to avoid new charges and hurt your case even more.

What else can I do?

Your mental health matters. Take care of yourself and stay positive. Don’t let the case overwhelm your life and consider speaking with a confidential mental health counselor.

Your life is unfortunately going to significantly change and it will not be easy. Do not go it alone. This is not a small case that you can handle without an attorney. Webb Law Firm offers free consultations with one of our attorneys to help you figure out what steps you should be taking. We have a skilled team that can help you win your case. Call 24/7 at 207-283-6400.

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