Domestic Violence Allegations in Relationships

A Criminal Defense Attorney | Lawyer’s view on Allegations of Domestic Violence in a Relationship.

Domestic Violence in a Relationship, Seattle Criminal Defense AttorneyCriminal allegations of domestic violence or disturbances in your home, personal, or familial relationships often present a series of unique challenges for clients and their counsel alike. Dealing with these issues generally takes time and patience on the part of both parties to get the best result possible.  Here are some of the most common issues we see clients struggle with.

A Criminal Charge Does Not Care About the Big Picture of a Relationship though your Criminal Defense Lawyer Should.

City or State Prosecutors file criminal charges because they believe, based on the facts collected for them by the police or sheriff’s office, that either a situation justifies seeking a criminal conviction or the facts likely support a fact pattern they believe will garner a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.  City or State Prosecutors do not spend their time or energy trying to figure out the big picture … they have too many cases and simply do not have the time. What they are interested in is a resolution that either punishes and/or gives some assurance that the violence or problems will not continue or repeat themselves. However, an effective and experienced defense lawyer | attorney should know their role.  An experienced criminal defense lawyer will, at the right time and place, speak to the prosecuting attorney’s concerns while presenting a condensed version of the big picture that supports a certain result. The same applies to a judge. Timing, experience and front loading discussions and cases as well as a willingness to wait or litigate for the best result is everything.

Focusing and Managing the Behavior Leading to a Criminal Allegation Does, in Fact, Help.

With all the demands of modern life, conflict is inevitable but how you handle it is not. A criminal charge is like a “Dead End” road sign, it is a clear warning to stop, turn around and choose another direction.  Criminal defense lawyers who have handled an enormous number of domestic violence allegations in relationships, have consistently found that clients who take this advice to heart, end up in a better position in the long run than those who do not.  We know: our clients keep in touch.

Does this mean you need to do something drastic or quick?  Not necessarily … it depends on the situation. What it means is something has to change … be it expectations, the other party, yourself, or your situation; in other words, some foundational shift needs to happen.  Our criminal defense lawyers have spent thousands of hours speaking with clients about their situations because we know that excellent lawyering requires it. Retaining this firm means you retain an experienced and effective defense team who will help you choose a better direction.

Court Ordered No Contact Means No Contact.

No contact means no contact: This means you cannot use third parties, computers, texts, friends, other family members, written, verbal, sign language or any other possible means of communication you can envision.

When people are brought in and arraigned (link to arraignment page) on a crime involving the domestic violence label (link to what is domestic violence), some are shocked when a judge orders no contact with the alleged victim and/or their children and limits access to their residence as a condition of releasing them from jail.  As defense attorneys who have spent a lot of time in Superior, District and Municipal courts, we have seen lawyers and defendants unprepared for these kinds of orders. Even with preparation, no contact (at all) with the victim can make for a mess.  How do kids get to school and day care? Who is paying the bills? Where does one sleep?  It is tempting to call or text or ask a friend to speak with the victim to find out where things are at, but no contact means no contact.   We have seen cases, marriages and divorces struggle with this issue but no contact means none whatsoever.  Our office is experienced in working around these kinds of situations and has practical advice on how to manage complications surrounding no contact orders, starting with frank and direct conversations with our clients about what issues will arise in court.  We can help mitigate the consequences of a crime, but not if our clients start a case by refusing to follow the judge’s order.  Think about the message this sends to the court and prosecutor, aside from the fact that violating a No Contact Order is a crime (link to Violation of No Contact Order as crime). The law does not go easy on those who do not follow a judge’s order and we have seen this issue be used as leverage in later divorce actions.  Remember, an assault or harassment charge is much harder to prove than a Violation of a No Contact Order charge because the majority of Violations of a No Contact Order are well documented and they are an easy conviction for the prosecuting attorney.  Do not violate a no contact order, no matter how much your emotions tell you it is a good idea.

Allegations of domestic violence in a relationship happen quickly. It is vital that you retain a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense lawyers | attorneys who can counsel you on the dynamics and issues that will arise in and out of the courtroom. Our firm has a unique blend of courtroom experience, knowledge and temperament. Our criminal defense lawyers | attorneys work as a team and are highly experienced. Our lawyers know that criminal cases are rarely as simple as the police report and our clients retain us early on in the process to make sure their rights are protected. Consultations are free but a poor choice in counsel is not. The first step in evaluating counsel is an appointment.

Robert Rhodes

With a successful background in law, courtrooms, wrestling, rugby and jujitsu, Robert Rhodes’s nature is well-suited for argument and litigation. Mr. Rhodes knows how to talk clearly and directly to his clients, adversaries and to the Court. His common sense, straight talk and experience put his clients immediately at ease. Mr. Rhodes does not do anything half way and you will sense this when you meet him. Read more >>