What to do when police are called for domestic violence.

Cell phone 911 call in red

Police are on their way? Follow these rules:
Rule 1: Be Polite
Rule 2: Remain Silent
Rule 3: Call an Attorney

If you have more time, read on.

Most domestic violence charges originate with a 911 call. Sometimes the alleged victim is the 911-caller. In other cases, the 911-caller is a family member or neighbor. Regardless, police officers generally view domestic violence calls as posing the most potential danger to police safety. So, you can expect officers to take a very no-nonsense approach.

If officers have been called for a domestic disturbance then the officers are going to enter your home. Despite what you say or do, despite whether its legal or a violation of your rights, police are going to enter your home. So, understand you do not have to consent to officers entering your home, but you should not obstruct officer.

Rule 1: Be Polite to Police During Domestic Violence Call

Chances are if the police are called and you are accused of domestic violence – you’re going to jail. You will not be able to talk your way out of it. The police do not care about your side of the story. Police do not care whether you are outraged or “know your rights.” Nothing you can do will change a police officer’s mind about you going to jail. Getting an attitude just makes it more likely you will receive more serious charges.

Rule 2: Remain Silent (Politely) During Domestic Violence Call

It does not matter what police say to you, they do not care about “your side of the story.” If you have been accused of domestic violence then the only reason police are asking you questions is to better build a case against you. It may be a shot to your ego, but you are not smart enough to talk your way out of a domestic violence charge.

Police will separate you from the alleged victim. Usually, one officer will talk to you and another officer will talk to the alleged victim. The Victim Officer is likely pressuring the person to fill out a “family violence packet” and solidify the case against you. The Victim Officer is also asking several questions about assault by choking. This is because choking or strangulation changes a domestic violence charge from a Class A Misdemeanor to a Third Degree Felony. Politely say the following, and then keep your mouth shut.

Officer, I don’t mean to be a pest, but I want an attorney with me when I talk to you.

Rule 2 does not just apply to police officers. Remain silent means you do not talk to anyone: not the alleged victim; not your friend; not on your phone; and not in the cop-car. You remain silent until you talk to a lawyer for your domestic violence charge.

Rule 3: Go Straight to a Domestic Violence Attorney

When you bond out of jail on your domestic violence charge, do not return home or to the alleged victims home. In most family violence cases the police get an “Emergency Protective Order.” This is what you might think of as a “restraining order.” If an EPO is in place and you violate the restrictions then you can get a new criminal charge. Then you will get re-arrested. Then you will have to bond out again. Then you will be looking at double the penalty.

Even if you do not think an EPO is in place, you need to take all of your jail paperwork with you to visit an attorney about your domestic violence charge. The faster you get to a good attorney the better chance you have staying out of more trouble, getting back into your home, and getting your domestic violence charge dropped or dismissed.

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Fort Worth, TX 76102