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Understanding Your Right to Remain Silent After a Family Violence Arrest

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Llano County criminal defense attorneyAnyone who has watched a police drama on television is familiar with the phrase “You have the right to remain silent.” However, few people understand the magnitude of these words. When you are facing criminal accusations, staying silent and refusing to answer police questions is often one the best ways to increase your chances of avoiding conviction. This is especially true when you are facing accusations of domestic violence or another violent crime. A conviction for a domestic violence offense can dramatically impact your life. Asserting your constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination is crucial.

Declining Police Questions Until Your Attorney is Present

The U.S. Constitution gives criminal defendants certain rights. Among these important rights are the rights to avoid self-incrimination and consult with legal counsel. These are often referred to as Miranda Rights. Many criminal defendants grossly underestimate the importance of declining police questioning during an arrest or criminal investigation. Some defendants mistakenly believe that asking for a lawyer and then remaining silent will make them appear “more guilty” than if they freely answered police questions. Others assume that answering the questions honestly can only aid in their defense—especially if they are innocent of the crime that they have been accused of.

Unfortunately, talking to police without your attorney present can significantly damage your chances of an acquittal or dismissal. In the moments after a domestic violence arrest, most defendants are flooded with adrenaline. They may be feeling shocked, angry, confused, frustrated, or even betrayed. This is not the time to be making statements to the police.  A defendant could easily say something he or she does not really mean or make statements that harm his or her case. This is why most criminal defense attorneys encourage defendants to calmly ask for an attorney and then simply stay quiet until he or she arrives.

Domestic Violence Penalties in Texas

Criminal offenses involving family or household members are often punishable by harsher penalties than offenses involving non-family members. Domestic assault may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony offense depending on the defendant’s criminal history. Penalties for misdemeanor domestic assault include up to a year in jail and fines up to $4,000. Felony domestic assault is punishable by up to ten years in prison. If an individual is convicted of two or more domestic assaults in the same year, he or she may be charged with continuous violence against the family. If convicted, you could face up to ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Contact a Llano Family Violence Defense Lawyer

Contact a Marble Falls criminal defense attorney from Law Office of Russ Alan Baker, PLLC if you or a loved one were charged with family violence or domestic assault. Call 325-216-2006 for a free, confidential consolation today.



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