Once the police arrive regarding a domestic violence call, they have an obligation to investigate what is going on. If you are the focus of the investigation and the police begin questioning you regarding the situation you should tell the police that you would like to speak with your attorney before answering any of their questions.
Even if you tell the police that you do not want to answer their questions, the police will likely arrest you as it is very rare for the police to come to your house on a domestic violence call and not take somebody out of the home. The main reason is that the police don’t want the situation to get worse after they leave. However, you should still not talk to the police. Do not admit anything and don’t explain what was going on. Just tell them you don’t want to answer questions until you talk to an attorney.
You should then immediately find an attorney who can review the case and aggressively represent you.
If both parents have a fight, whether physical or non-physical, it is possible that the police may arrest both parents. If both parents are arrested and there are children in the house, the police will likely call CPS to take custody of the children temporarily.
In a situation where just one person gets arrested, taken to jail, and charged with domestic violence, it is possible that they may be released on their own recognizance, or O.R.. A typical condition of OR is that they will agree to not have contact with the victim and/or return to the scene of the arrest. In this situation, the arrestee, should talk to an attorney to find out if the release conditions can be modified.
Sometimes, where there has been a minor squabble and domestic violence charge, the victim may contact the police and say that they want the arrestee to be able to come back home. Sometimes the police and prosecutors take that into consideration and sometimes they do not. What many people do not understand is that the minute you call the police, a case is filed in the State’s system and just because a victim does not want the case to go forward does not mean that the State is going to stop. Once the case is in the system, the State or the prosecutors will go forward with the case, unless they think they have a legal issue with it.
One of the most common things you will hear in these types of cases is that the victim will want to drop the charges. However, as a formal prosecutor, I can tell you that they don’t own the charges. A victim doesn’t have the right to drop the charges. It’s up to the prosecutors to decide whether or not they’re going to go forward with the case.
In regards to release conditions, it is completely up to the judge or commission or the case. They will review the case and such things as if there was physical violence versus just people yelling at each other. Usually, the more serious the allegation then the more harsh the release conditions will be.
Release conditions can cause huge issues for the family and how it functions. That’s why these situation are so tough. Sometimes, the system doesn’t identify people’s day to day lives and how they actually live. Sometimes people stay with family or they may get hotel rooms. But they are required to stay away until they are able to have their release conditions modified, so that they can be back with their families.