Yes, it’s a trick question. If you’re one of our clients, you have probably heard each of our attorneys tell you at one point or another: the best statement is no statement. (Our partner Stefano Molea can give you a quick refresher here.)
But why? Especially in domestic violence cases, you often end up with a “he said, she said” situation. In these cases, it can be hard to stay silent when the other party is making false claims against you to the police. We know the instinct well because we see it often: saying “I didn’t hit her, I just pushed her back,” or “I barely touched her,” when trying to explain your side of it. The problem is that this could ultimately end up hurting you more than it helps you.
By making statements like this, you could accidentally be giving your accuser more credibility. She (or he) just alleged you had violent contact with them, and by admitting that there was any physical contact at all, you might inadvertently be bolstering their side of the story. It starts to look less like your accuser made up a story out of thin air, because even you are agreeing that there was some sort of conflict.
It’s also common for people to believe that in these types of cases, the police will “believe the woman.” If true, your side of the story at the time of arrest will not hold much weight anyways. Plus, this will not necessarily make or break your case down the road. At the end of the day, even if the police, prosecutors, and court all believe your accuser, what matters the most is who the 12 strangers in the jury box believe.
By staying silent when contacted by law enforcement, you don’t risk closing the door to possibly helpful defenses by the time you get to trial. So while it makes sense that you would want to clarify what happened, the best way to do it is with the help of a high-quality, locally-experienced criminal defense law firm by your side.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for domestic violence, check out managing partner David Shapiro’s rundown on what to expect here, then give us a call at (619) 295-3555 to set up your consultation today.
The contents of this article and blog are for meant for informational and marketing purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Viewing and/or use of the blog does not form an attorney-client relationship. No statements in this post are a guarantee, warranty, or prediction of a particular result in your case.