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If you've been arrested and charged with “battery domestic violence” (BDV) you could be facing severe penalties in addition to dramatic upheaval in your family and professional life.

That's why it is so crucial in the hours and days after your arrest to think as clearly and rationally as possible and to take steps that can keep an already difficult situation from getting worse. These three steps can go a long way towards putting you in a better position to fight and overcome the charges against you:

1. Call a criminal defense attorney. Now.

One of the biggest mistakes that those accused of domestic violence can make is believing that they can handle the situation on their own so long as they reconcile with the alleged victim. The reality is that prosecutors can and will continue to seek a conviction even if the alleged victim no longer is interest in pressing charges. Making up won't make the charges go away.

The consequences of a domestic violence conviction can affect your life for decades and while there are strong defenses that can be made, proceeding without an attorney is putting yourself and your future at risk. The sooner an experienced criminal defense lawyer can begin working on your defense and communicate with prosecutors, the better chance you have of a positive outcome.

2. Get treated and keep documentation for any injuries.

The violence in many domestic violence situations is not always a one-way street. A spouse accused of domestic violence may have in fact been the victim and may have suffered injuries as a result of acting in self-defense. If you have suffered any such defensive injuries, it is important that you document them as thoroughly as possible by taking photos and seeking medical attention for those injuries. Pictures and medical records can be vital pieces of evidence in your defense.

3. Follow Orders

You may in fact be wrongfully accused of domestic violence. While you may know that your arrest was unjustified and that the charges against you are false, you shouldn't ignore any court order that may have been entered limiting your contact with your spouse or another alleged victim. Follow the court's order as any violation will only make your situation worse. Once you've retained an attorney, they can move to modify or remove any restrictions that have been placed on you.

If you have been arrested and charged with domestic violence, please give our experienced criminal defense lawyers a call as soon as possible to discuss your case.

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Gerald Schwab, Jr.


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Law Office of Gerald Schwab, Jr.
Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
5588 N Palm Ave,
Fresno, CA 93704
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Phone: 559.441.1418