If you are arrested for domestic violence you should not make any
statements to the police or anyone else about your case. Tell them
you are exercising your right to remain silent and want a lawyer
before you talk to them. The police say anything, even tell lies,
to trick suspects into making incriminating statements. If the police
want to interview you in custody it is unlikely you will be able
to talk your way out of jail. Most police officers will arrest you
and not put anything that might help you in the police report.
police can use your statements against you without reading you your
Miranda rights. If the police come to your door and start asking
you questions your answers are fair game because you arent
under arrest yet. There are other legal exceptions and loop holes.
Proposition 115s Truth In Evidence law helps the prosecution
use illegally gathered evidence.
be calm and respectful when dealing with the police. Dont
make any sudden movements. Keep your hands where they can see them.
Police know that responding to domestic violence calls can be dangerous
and that makes them jumpy. It is a bad idea to talk to the police.
The police usually didnt see incident happen. Their job is
to gather evidence to prosecute you. Sometimes they will deliberately
ignore evidence that helps your case, even a broken chair your partner
tried to hit you with. If you have already given a statement to
the police denying any wrongdoing dont be too discouraged.
You may not have hurt your defense.
you are released from custody before your first court appearance,
known as the arraignment, make sure you go to court. If you dont
the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. The more bench
warrants a person has on their record the harder it is for them
to convince a judge to release them from custody on their own recognizance
in the future. If you are uncertain about any date you have to appear
in court the clerks office in room 101 has a book of future
court dates. There is also a book of bench warrants printouts. If
you dont find your name in either book, wait in line to ask
a clerk about the status of your case. Defendants are routinely
given two mandatory appearance dates after they are arraigned on
their first day in court, the pretrial conference date and the trial
often want to know when they are going to get to talk to the judge.
Talking to the judge while your case is pending (or when youre
on probation) is generally a bad idea. Talking in court is dangerous
because the court reporter is recording everything you say. The
D.A. could use anything you say against you at trial using interpretations
you never dreamed of. If you are on probation saying the wrong thing
can result in the judge putting you in jail. See Invasion