There is no doubt that domestic violence is a very real problem in Illinois and throughout the country. However, not all accusations of domestic violence are founded on truth. If you have been accused of domestic battery or another form of violence against a household or family member, you may be unsure of how to handle the situation. The state of Illinois takes domestic violence very seriously. Penalties for domestic battery may include heavy fines and jail time. It is important to take steps to protect your rights and avoid worsening the situation you are in.
Remain Calm and Do Not Retaliate Against the Accuser
Being falsely accused of hurting a current or former romantic partner, family member, or housemate is a very emotional experience to go through. Understandably, you may be shocked and angry that you have been accused of a crime that you did not commit. However, the most important step you can take is to remain calm. Do not confront the individual who has accused you of harming him or her. Any contact you make with your accuser may be used as an excuse for an additional allegation of abuse or violence.
Do Not Let Police Interrogate You Without Your Lawyer
When you are in a heightened emotional state, this is no time to talk to the police. Officers may try to ask you questions about the circumstances of the alleged altercation or your relationship with the accuser. Do not answer these questions without speaking to your lawyer first. Anything you say to the police may be used as evidence against you during future criminal proceedings. You have a constitutional right to decline police interrogation. It is important to take full advantage of this right.
Comply With the Terms of the Order of Protection
If you were accused of domestic battery, stalking, or a related offense, you may be subject to an order of protection or restraining order. The order may require you to stay a certain distance away from the accuser or even move out of your home. Even if the order of protection was obtained under false premises, it is crucial that you follow the directions contained in the order. Violation of a protection order is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. The violation is a felony offense punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment if you have previously been convicted of violating a protection order.
Contact an Itasca Criminal Defense Attorney
If you were accused of domestic violence, you may be facing life-changing consequences. Contact a DuPage County defense lawyer from Ana M. Mencini & Associates, P.C. for help defending yourself against the charges. Call 630-875-1700 for a confidential, free consultation.