Avoiding and Minimizing Consequences

The first goal in any criminal prosecution is to avoid a conviction. That is not always achievable in domestic violence prosecutions but it is always worth pursuing. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to obtain a dismissal of the charge, an acquittal, a deferred adjudication, or an amendment of the charge to a civil violation.

When a conviction is unavoidable, the second goal is to persuade the prosecutor and the court to behave reasonably. Reasonable behavior might mean reducing the severity of the charge or imposing a punishment you can live with.

Judges and prosecutors are more likely to behave reasonably when they understand your side of the story. The best way to minimize the consequences of a conviction is to make prosecutors and judges see you as a decent person who is unlikely to repeat a mistake. An experienced domestic violence defense attorney can help you make your remorse and rehabilitation known to the court and prosecutor, if and when it becomes clear that a conviction is likely.

To minimize the consequences of a domestic violence accusation, then, you need to do two things. First, avoid any kind of behavior that will get you into deeper trouble or that will reflect on your character in a negative way. If you can avoid any contact with your accuser, do so. If contact is necessary, avoid engaging in any conduct that could be interpreted as threatening or violent. Too many people who are accused of domestic violence blow their chance of avoiding serious consequences by repeating the same behavior that resulted in the criminal charge.

Second, contact a criminal defense lawyer at your earliest opportunity. Your lawyer will help you develop a strategy for avoiding or reducing the consequences of the accusations that have been made against you. If you are guilty and the strategy is to minimize consequences rather than taking your case to trial, the strategy may include your participation in treatment or counseling programs. We discuss that strategy in more detail in our article on Preparing for Sentencing.

To discuss the strategy that is best suited to your case with an experienced domestic violence defense attorney, call Hamilton, Hull & Byrd at 800-456-7838. You can also use the Contact Us page on our website to ask us questions about your case. We have locations in Lubbock, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, McAllen, Midland/ Odessa and Abilene Texas.