Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
Learn Your Rights & Legal Options
Most people are unaware that the Chattanooga Police Department and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office have policies in place that require an arrest if – when the police are called to a home for domestic violence – they find evidence of any kind of an assault. In other words, if a neighbor calls 911 because a husband and wife are arguing, police will go to that home. If someone says that he or she was assaulted, the alleged perpetrator is probably going to jail right then and there. Sometimes that is the right decision and sometimes police are given a poor version of events or simply get it wrong.
In Tennessee, an alleged victim in a domestic violence case does not have the power to drop the charges. The decision to charge rests with the police, but the responsibility to prosecute is within the sole discretion of the District Attorney’s Office. Most prosecutors will not dismiss a charge of domestic assault at arraignment, even if the alleged victim asks for this to be done. If you are charged with domestic assault, violation of a restraining order, or any other type of domestic violence, you should retain an experienced Chattanooga criminal defense attorney immediately. That is the best way to avoid a permanent conviction on your record and all that this accusation portends for your job and other important rights including your Second Amendment right to possess firearms.
Will Domestic Violence Show up on a Background Check?
A domestic violence conviction will show up on a background check. A domestic violence conviction can dissuade an employer from offering you the job, since many companies do not want to risk employing someone who might be associated with violent tendencies. A domestic violence conviction can also prevent you from legally holding specific types of jobs moving forward. Many fields require workers to meet a high level of responsibility and moral and ethical judgment. For example, if you apply to be a teacher, you are more likely to not be chosen by the employer because you are supposed to be an example to others. Similarly, if you work in social services, you will need to be a trustworthy figure, but a domestic violence conviction on your record will work against you here.
How the Prosecution Handles Domestic Violence Cases
If you are the victim of domestic assault and you are seeking to have criminal charges dropped against your husband, boyfriend, wife, girlfriend, partner, or relative, then you too should consult an attorney. In Tennessee, unless you are married to the person who is charged with the crime, the District Attorney’s Office can force you to testify. Even if you are married, your marital privilege against testifying is limited to so-called “marital communications.” A defense lawyer experienced in these issues is necessary for you to fully understand your rights and responsibilities.
The prosecutor merely needs to be sure that you have been served with a subpoena – then at that point, you may be forced to testify. Should you refuse, you risk being jailed for contempt. In addition, if your testimony changes materially from your sworn affidavit, then you risk being charged with filing a false police report. Unfortunately, we have seen this happen too many times over the years. You need to talk to a lawyer right away if you or your spouse or cohabitant has been accused of domestic violence in order to receive the legal protection you need.
False Accusations of Domestic Violence in a Divorce
In many cases, domestic violence charges are completely false. In some of these cases, the fabricated charges follow divorce proceedings. Unethical people will sometimes tell so-called victims to file a criminal charge of domestic violence against their former spouse or partner in order to gain a tactical advantage in a circuit court divorce case. If you have been charged with domestic assault during a divorce case, you need an experienced criminal lawyer immediately.
Serious Representation from Our Domestic Violence Defense Team
We know that, if you have been charged with domestic assault, you probably don’t want a trial or public display of your private life. We also realize that you do want your side of the dispute to be heard and, ultimately, for justice to prevail. From our years of experience in the courts of Tennessee, we are prepared to advise you as to how best to proceed in order to limit the danger domestic assault charges can bring and protect your record from a domestic assault conviction.
Remember, a conviction of domestic violence, once entered, will stay on your record for life. It is imperative that you receive strong legal help at this time. Call Davis & Hoss, PC at (423) 825-9747 today to schedule a free case evaluation with our understanding, competent Tennessee criminal defense attorneys.