If you are facing allegations of having committed domestic violence, then you are in for quite a fight. Aggressive prosecutors will probably seek to impose the harshest penalties upon you in the event that you are convicted, which could include a significant prison sentence. In addition to that, a conviction could require you to pay a fine, stay away from your loved ones, and it could seriously damage your reputation. So, what can you do to avoid the harshest of these penalties?
Well, ideally you go to trial and obtain an acquittal, but that isn't always possible. Sometimes, it is in an accused individual's best interests to negotiate a plea deal. In other instances, the matter is tried before a judge and jury and the defendant is found guilty. Regardless, even though a conviction of some sort is handed down, the fight isn't necessarily over. Why? Because you still have to put forth strong legal arguments to curtail the possible penalties awaiting you.
When sentencing an individual for a domestic violence offense, the court looks to a number of factors. Amongst those are the individual's pattern of conduct, which may include previous acts of domestic violence, and whether the incident occurred in front of children. The court may also look at the relationship between the defendant and the alleged victim to see if there was any pattern of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
The prosecutors against you in these situations are going to try to paint you as an awful person. You need to push back to protect your reputation, your freedom, and your future. To do so, you may need an experienced lawyer on your side who can help you craft compelling legal arguments to minimize the risk. Of course, you should also consider seeking legal counsel early in your case prior to any plea bargaining or litigation.
Source: Washington State Legislature, "RCW 10.99.100," accessed on May 19, 2017