It probably comes as no surprise that domestic violence-related crimes carry severe penalties. In the state of New York, for example, those convicted could face steep fines and incarceration. They may also have limited options when it comes to finding a job or a place to live.
If you happen to be an undocumented immigrant, you could also face deportation, which may end up being the worst consequence of all. Under federal law, aliens can be removed following the conviction of certain criminal offenses, including those involving domestic violence, stalking, protection order violations, and child abuse.
Even if you were lawfully admitted to the United States, being convicted of a domestic violence offense may still lead to deportation depending on the circumstances. With so much at stake—from your future to your family’s wellbeing—it is critical that you take the following steps to fight the charges:
1. Call a Domestic Violence Lawyer
It is wise to call a criminal defense attorney as soon as you are arrested. Seeking legal counsel right away could prevent you from providing statements to the police or making other mistakes that end up limiting your defense options.
Your lawyer can also protect your rights. If law enforcement personnel make a procedural error or violate your rights, your attorney may be able to use that fact to your advantage. Your attorney can also interview eyewitnesses, gather evidence, and possibly negotiate with the prosecutor for lesser charges that come with reduced penalties.
2. Do Not Contact the Alleged Victim
Even if there is no protection order in place, it is wise to avoid contacting the alleged victim. If you must interact with him or her—perhaps you share children, for example, and need to arrange visitation—do so through your lawyer.
3. Stay off Social Media
You may be tempted to turn to social media to clear your name. While seeking support from friends and followers might seem justified, it is best to stay off social networking sites until your case has been resolved.
Social media content is usually admissible as evidence in court. This includes insults and threats against the alleged victim, details regarding the incident, and photographs of any injuries sustained during the alleged altercation.
Even if you think a particular post would only serve to strengthen your defense, there is no way to predict how the prosecutor might interpret it. To avoid jeopardizing your case inadvertently, you should temporarily disable your social media accounts until the conclusion of your case.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Domestic Violence Attorney
At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we understand how much is at stake for people who have been charged with a domestic violence offense—especially those who are facing potential deportation. That’s why we fight tirelessly on behalf of each and every one of our clients. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a domestic violence lawyer in New York.