Legal Help After An Arrest For Domestic Violence
As the old song goes: You always hurt the one you love, the one you shouldn’t hurt at all. Maybe you didn’t mean to cause any harm. Maybe things got out of hand. But now you are facing criminal charges for assault.
Domestic violence is taken seriously in South Dakota. A conviction could mean jail and a criminal record and losing your gun rights. It could prevent you from having unsupervised contact with your children. It can affect immigration status, employment and more.
I am Lyndsay DeMatteo, a criminal defense lawyer in Sioux Falls. I will defend you against both the criminal charges and the protection order. I will help you take the right steps to show the court that this incident is not who you are.
Understanding Domestic Assault Charges
You may be surprised that you are even charged with a crime. Assault is defined as inflicting or attempting to inflict bodily harm. This includes punching, slapping or kicking, as well as taking a swing or throwing objects at a person. Assault can also refer to words or gestures that threaten injury or put someone in fear of bodily harm. Violating a protective order is also considered assault. An assault that involves a weapon or results in serious bodily injury can be charged as aggravated assault (a felony).
Police are required to arrest the primary aggressor when someone calls 911 about a domestic disturbance. Judges will err on the side of caution in issuing temporary no-contact orders to protect victims of abuse.
Fighting The Charges And Telling Your Story
Only later will you get a chance to tell your side of the story. You need to be patient and listen to the judge (and your attorney). Violating a no-contact order will only make things worse. My job is to protect your rights in the legal system and challenge the government’s version of events.
I will explore your defenses and mitigating factors. Many domestic violence incidents start as arguments that got out of control, often fueled by alcohol. Did the alleged victim initiate the physical altercation? Are they lying or exaggerating for leverage in a divorce or child custody case? You can be prosecuted even if the victim does not want to press charges.
If we can’t get the assault charges dismissed, I am prepared to represent you at trial or negotiate with the prosecuting attorney to soften the consequences. Meanwhile, we can try to get ahead of this by getting help for substance abuse or anger management.
Domestic Violence Protection Orders
One of the hardest things is being kicked out of your own home and ordered not to contact your partner or contact your children. Within 30 days there will be a hearing on whether to extend the temporary restraining order into a permanent protection order. I will represent you at this hearing to argue against the permanent order or to dial back the restrictions by showing that you do not pose a threat.
Call Me Right Away To Protect Your Rights
I practice in Minnehaha County and surrounding counties of South Dakota. Call me today at 605-607-5171 if you have been arrested for domestic assault or violating a domestic violence protection order. I offer a free initial consultation to explain your rights and what I can do for you.