Domestic Violence Charges – Your options and what can a criminal defense lawyer do to help you?
Our criminal defense lawyers represent persons charged with crimes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A very common charge that we defend in criminal and civil proceeding (Restraining Orders (NJ) and Protection from Abuse (PA) are allegations involving domestic violence. These criminal charges can include felony and misdemeanor allegations of aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats, stalking and criminal mischief.
What are your options if you are arrested and charged with allegations of domestic violence.
First, if the allegations are simply not true, you should never accept diversion program to avoid contesting the charges. You should never plead guilty to something you didn’t do! You have the right to fight these charges in a criminal and civil courtroom if necessary. The burden is always on the prosecution to establish your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt!
A police officer must make an arrest if the officer has probable cause (reason to believe) that a person has committed any felony or misdemeanor crime of violence or threat of violence against a family or household member. Police must also make an arrest anytime they have reason to believe that a person has violated a protective order.
How can your criminal defense lawyer help you?
In many cases, our defense law firm can establish reasonable doubt against these charges in a criminal courtroom and overcome the preponderance burden in civil proceeding. There are situations, however, where the evidence is simply overwhelming and we need to advise clients of other options.
In cases where we need to identify favorable non trial options for clients, we look toward treatment through a licensed health professional such as a licensed psychologist. These non trial options include various anger management programs and counseling
Prior engaging such a professional, however, our law firm ensures that assigned prosecutor/assistant district attorney is in agreement with this non trial diversion option. In most situations, a court will only approve such a disposition if the diversion program includes educational sessions and materials which focus on negotiation and fairness, non-threatening behavior, respect, trust and support, honesty and accountability, and shared responsibility.
What is the Duluth Model and how does it reduce domestic violence?
The Duluth Model is a program developed to reduce domestic violence against women. It is the most common batterer intervention program used in the United States. The model explores the idea that abusers use violence within relationships to exercise power and control. Treatment through this program focuses on re-education, not as an individual pathology, but a socially reinforced sense of entitlement. According to numerous studies, persons who complete this program are less likely to repeat acts of domestic violence than those who do not complete any batterers’ intervention program.
The model is presented through numerous sessions with a licensed psychologist who reviews an abuser’s control tactics which often include the following: praise, superficial charm, flattery, ingratiation, love bombing, smiling, gifts, and attention. Further, the Duluth Model, presents the idea of traumatic bonding and how the vulnerabilities of the victim are exploited. It educates the abuser on the idea that as the result of ongoing cycles of abuse in which the intermittent reinforcement of reward and punishment creates powerful emotional bonds.
The Model presents and reviews aspects of negotiation, fairness, non-threatening interactions, respect, trust, support, honesty, accountability, and shared responsibility. It also provides the participate with strategies for conflict management and increasing negotiating skills that includes exiting the conflict as awareness of anger becomes apparent. Finally, the Duluth Model of Domestic Violence educates and explains personality styles of batterers, pathology and disorder theories, and the cycle of violence via dominance, power & control.
Is a Diversion program utilizing the Duluth Model or some other accepted anger management program the right choice for your case?
There is no easy answer to this question. Again, you should never accept a diversion program the allegations are false! Work with your criminal defense lawyer to identify the issues in your case and let him advise you on the best course of action in the case.
Diversion programs are not always an option in a criminal case or even civil proceedings. You should discuss your options with anyone but a lawyer as all other communications are not privileged and therefor admissible in court!
You should never attempt to “work it out” on your own by contacting the alleged victim or their family. In most situation any direct or indirect contact with the victim will violate temporary no contact with the victim order or the conditions of your pre-trial release. This could lead to your arrest and incarceration prior to any hearings or trial.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in PA & NJ
Please click here to contact our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers. We offer free case reviews and serve the following areas in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Atlantic City, Camden, Cherry Hill, Chester, Conshohocken, Doylestown, Media, Norristown, Philadelphia, Pottstown, Salem, Upper Darby, Upper Merion, Upper Providence, Vineland & Woodbury areas.