Seattle Domestic Violence Lawyer
Can you talk your way out of it with the police?
If your wife says you hit her, the police are not going to act like a judge, weigh the conflicting stories and let you go. You are headed for jail. Most likely, you won’t talk your way out of being taken in, but you may inadvertently talk your way into a conviction. What you say can and will be used against you. You have the right to remain silent. There is a reason they give those warnings. Unfortunately, too many people are just so convinced they can talk their way out of it. Even if what you have to say is the absolute truth, you don’t know how much of it the police officer will write down. The officer may just get the part about you grabbing her arm and miss the part about how you were trying to prevent her from hurting herself. Explaining is counter productive.
What if you were the one who was injured?
Bruises fade rapidly. Evidence should be preserved in the form of good photographs. In this day and age a good quality digital photo should be easy to obtain. Do it soon and have a friend take the picture so that they are a witness that the photo wasn’t just doctored by Photoshop. If the injury is serious enough, see your doctor. Remember, doctors write down your report of how you were injured. Tell the truth. Your medical records are generally privileged, unless you start talking about how you’re planning to get even.
Get a lawyer who knows what he or she is doing.
No, you can’t do this yourself and yes it is going to get expensive. Consider whether the lawyer has experience in these types of cases. Will you be represented by the lawyer whose name is on the door or by some other lawyer in the office who is assigned to do the cases the big name brings in? Is this an office that does volume business, or will you get individual attention? Who will actually be at your side when you go before a judge? If you can’t afford a lawyer, you will be given a public defender. Private lawyers do not compete with public defenders for clients.
A prompt and thorough investigation can be the key to winning at trial or getting charges dismissed. Photographs of injuries or property damage should be taken immediately. Here are some case examples of how investigation made a difference. Click here for Investigation – A Key to Winning.
What is Domestic Violence?
The Domestic Violence (DV) laws passed in 1984 are a questionable solution to a real problem. The problem, of course, is that marriage and relationships bring out both the best and the worst in us. Being heavily invested in a relationship can lead to manipulation and extreme responses. The plight of battered women is a real problem, but the remedy created by this law also created a monster.
Over the last 29 years of handling these cases we have seen the law turned around from being a shield to protect to being a weapon to unleash on your spouse. The police have an obligation to arrest at least one of the participants if there has been an assault. Everyone knows that, so some use it as a way to get back at their spouse. Claims are easily made by sobbing “victims” to sympathetic police officers leading the alleged perpetrator to being handcuffed and taken to jail. Can a shove be an assault? Yes. Can defending yourself lead to arrest? Yes, though that’s not supposed to be the case. Can grabbing your spouse to keep him or her from hurting themselves lead to arrest? Yes, and it often does.
These crimes are popular with prosecutors because they get support from many vocal factions in the community. Prosecutors wear a white hat in prosecuting these cases and it makes them feel good to do so. In part, its because DV offenses cover the full economic spectrum of society, from the very poor to business executives and high profile athletes. It isn’t just another prosecution of a poor person caught doing a crime.
How are Domestic Violence Crimes Different?
The crimes are still the same, but the classification and punishments are different. For example, a fourth degree (minor) assault doesn’t result in a loss of your rights under the second amendment to have a gun. But, add the initials DV and you lose that right.
Crimes of domestic violence often lead to requirements for anger management or batterers’ treatment. A whole industry has sprung up to provide that type of treatment, just as an alcohol treatment industry has gained from stricter DUI laws. Once you are under the thumb of a treatment professional and a probation officer, you are in for a whole lot of control over your life by others. The reports of those people are treated as if every word is true. If they say you weren’t sufficiently forthcoming in admitting your problem, you can and will be hauled back in front of a judge who has the power to put you in jail for up to a year or more.
Perhaps the greatest risk to those who face these charges arises from having any continued relationship with the person who was seen as being the victim. If the relationship continues, or if there are children who must now be ferried from one household to another, there is a potential for being put back in jail just from the other person’s claim of renewed hostilities. That’s right, you are also under the thumb of the person who put you into this position. If he or she calls the police, the probation officer or the victim advocate, you will be hauled back to court to defend yourself, and this time there is no presumption of innocence and no requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Many times we have seen this control misused and abused. It is the dark side of what was intended to be a good law.
What about Robert J. Wayne?
* Past Chair, WSBA Criminal Law Section (2 terms)
* Named to Top 25 Criminal Lawyers in WA List
* a.v. Rating (Highest Possible) Martindale-Hubbell
* 10.0 AVVO Rating (Highest Possible)
* Super Lawyer (several years)
* Top 10% of Law School Class
* National Teacher of Trial and Litigation Skills
How can I tell if he is good in Court?
So you want to know before you hire your lawyer? If you would like to see Robert Wayne arguing a case CLICK HERE to see one of his arguments before the Supreme Court of Washington.
Criminal defense, Sex Crimes, Rape, Child Rape, Child Molesting, Domestic Violence, Assault, Violation of Protective Order, No contact order, Burglary, Residential Burglary, custodial interference, harassment, threats, criminal trespass, criminal trespassing, CPS, Child Protective Services, Theft, kidnaping, kidnapping, Misdemeanor, felony, Gross Misdemeanor, Everett, Redmond, Bellevue, Tukwila, Kent, Auburn, Federal Way, Burien, Renton, Sammamish, Issaquah, Lynnwood, Lynwood, Edmonds, Friday Harbor, Monroe, Bellevue Criminal Defense Lawyer, Redmond Criminal Defense Lawyer, Everett Criminal Defense Lawyer, Renton Criminal Defense Lawyer, Lynnwood Criminal Defense Lawyer, Lynwood Criminal Defense Lawyer, Shoreline Criminal Defense Lawyer, Burien Criminal Defense Lawyer, Kent Criminal Defense Lawyer, Edmonds Criminal Defense Lawyer, Criminal Defense Attorney