Defending a Domestic Violence Charge in Georgetown, Texas
This is the next post in our series discussing how to deal with domestic violence-related charges in Georgetown or Austin, Texas. Our last post discussed how a defendant should proceed when an order of protection is put in place against him or her. In this article we will discuss steps that your criminal defense attorney will take in order to defend you, both before and at trial.
Your criminal defense lawyer will obtain discovery in order to investigate and challenge any domestic violence charges brought in the Georgetown area
The first step is to begin an investigation once the district attorney has decided to move forward with your case and you are formally charged. This begins with the obtaining of discovery – a process which requires the District Attorney to turn over all evidence and information that they have against you. This will include witness statements, statements from the victim, pictures of physical evidence from the crime scene, any statements made by the Defendant, police reports, and medical records. Your lawyer can focus their investigation and challenge the evidence once they determine what argument the state plans to make against you.
Your attorney’s first focus will be to view the scene of the incident and to speak with any witnesses. An attorney will often look into the credibility of the witness and question them about statements they made during and after the incident. Your attorney may look into whether the victim has made domestic violence claims in the past, if the victim has a vendetta against the defendant and had something to gain from claiming domestic violence- such as child custody, or if the victim has recanted their original story. It may also be necessary to question people about the history of your relationship with the victim. If there is not a prior history of domestic violence then it may be necessary to look for evidence that the victim is lying to police. Domestic violence cases are not straightforward as many think. Anyone facing such charges in Williamson County, Texas should contact an attorney immediately. In addition to Georgetown, we service the surrounding communities of Austin, Bartlett, Cedar Park, Florence, Granger, Hutto, Jarrell, Leander, Liberty Hill, Round Rock, Taylor, Thrall, and Weir.
Your lawyer will also determine if Georgetown police violated your rights during a domestic violence arrest
A second area of focus for your lawyer will be to determine if the police violated your rights at the time of the arrest. If police found evidence, such as a weapon, at the scene of a crime then it is necessary to analyze whether one’s rights against unreasonable search and seizure were violated. The Fourth Amendment, which protects one’s right to privacy, is complicated. Many may not realize that their rights were violated during an arrest. For instance, if police were responding to an emergency and a weapon was in plain view during an arrest, it is likely legal for them to seize the weapon. However, if police searched the home, opened a drawer, looked under an item, or otherwise seized an item without a warrant, it may be possible to keep the evidence out of Court. Your attorney will also carefully read the police report and ask you questions regarding law enforcement conduct the night of your arrest. It may also be that statements were taken in violation of your Miranda rights. It may be possible to exclude illegally seized evidence or illegally taken statements through the filing of a Motion to Suppress. If a Judge determines that certain key evidence is not admissible in Court then the prosecution often is forced to dismiss the charges due to lack of evidence.
If you have been charged for a domestic violence related crime in Georgetown or Austin, Texas then it is important to hire an attorney to review the evidence against you right away. Contact our office now for a consultation.