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What Do I Do When I Have Been Charged with Domestic Violence?

What Do I Do When I Have Been Charged with Domestic Violence

Domestic violence charges can be an overwhelming and frightening experience. If you have found yourself in this situation, read these legal insights from one of the experienced St. Louis criminal defense lawyers at Bruntrager & Billings.


What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence refers to a range of abusive behaviors, including physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, perpetrated by one household member against another. In Missouri, the laws regarding domestic violence are complex, and a conviction can have severe consequences, including jail time, fines, restraining orders, loss of child custody, and damage to your reputation.


The Legal Process

  1. Arrest and Booking

If you have been charged with domestic violence, the first step is typically an arrest and booking. During this stage, you will be processed into the criminal justice system, and your personal information will be recorded. It is important to remain calm and cooperate with law enforcement while remembering your right to remain silent.


  1. Protective Orders

In many domestic violence cases, the alleged victim may request a protective order, also known as a restraining order, to ensure his or her safety. This order prohibits the accused from contacting or approaching the alleged victim. It is important to follow the terms of the protective order diligently to avoid further legal complications.


  1. Preliminary Hearing

Shortly after your arrest, a preliminary hearing will be scheduled to determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a trial. Your Missouri criminal defense attorney will use this opportunity to challenge the prosecution’s case and potentially have the charges dismissed.


  1. Plea Bargaining

In some cases, your attorney may negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution. This involves pleading guilty to a lesser charge or accepting a reduced sentence in exchange for avoiding a trial. Your St. Louis criminal defense lawyer will assess the strength of the prosecution’s case and advise you on the best course of action.


  1. Trial

If a plea bargain cannot be reached or if you choose to proceed to trial, your case will go before a judge and jury. During the trial, both the prosecution and defense will present evidence, call witnesses, and make arguments. Your Missouri attorney will vigorously defend your rights and work to undermine the prosecution’s case.


  1. Sentencing

If you are found guilty at trial or accept a plea bargain, you will be sentenced by the court. Sentencing can range from probation and counseling to incarceration, depending on the circumstances of your case. Your St. Louis attorney can advocate for a fair and just sentence on your behalf.


Why You Need a Missouri Criminal Defense Attorney

Navigating the legal process can be complex and emotionally challenging. Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer from Bruntrager & Billings is essential for several reasons:


  • Knowledge of the Law
  • Building a Strong Defense
  • Negotiating Skills
  • Emotional Support


St. Louis Personal Criminal Defense Lawyers to Serve You

If you are facing domestic violence charges in Missouri, our experienced St. Louis criminal defense attorneys have a deep understanding of the law and will provide the representation you need. To book a no-cost legal strategy session with one of our top-notch St. Louis lawyers, contact our office now.