What Not To Do In a Domestic Violence Investigation

Unlike the typical criminal case which includes charges of violence, defendants charged in domestic violence cases are often professionals where the stakes are high: not only is freedom at stake but even a conviction on a reduced charge could spell the end of one’s career.  At the same time, domestic violence cases are traditionally tougher to prove than the garden-variety case of violence due to the fact that oftentimes the only evidence is the word of the purported victim.  For this reason, prosecutors and law enforcement officers will use every bit of subterfuge at their disposal to trick a target into creating the very evidence required to charge and convict them.  The most important advice I can offer anyone who is being investigated for a crime of domestic violence is to simply resist the urge to explain your side of the story to law enforcement.  Resist the urge to discuss the matter with the purported victim – you are probably being taped and will only make things worse.  Without the admissions of the target, a case is oftentimes impossible to make, let alone prove beyond a reasonable doubt.  If you’re being investigated in New York for a domestic violence case, immediately call a top New York domestic violence criminal defense attorney – and do nothing more until that time.

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A Cautionary Tale: Do Not Create Evidence For Law Enforcement To Be Used Against You

Recently a client who works in finance came to me about an investigation regarding an alleged sexual assault against a woman he had met online.  All of their conversations had been via text before they had met, which means they were all available for anyone to see.  After the alleged incident, the victim made no mention of any sexual assault and continued to converse with the client via text as if nothing was wrong, nothing improper had occurred during their date – and even made plans for another date.  At this point, there is no question that a criminal case could not be brought against my client.  However, soon after the incident the “victim” asked to speak to the client on the phone.  Not surprisingly, she was secretly taping the conversation for District Attorney’s Office in an attempt to cause my client to create evidence for them to be used against him.  During that conversation she pointedly accused him of a sexual assault, which he denied, though apologized for perhaps being too forceful with her — an attempt to “talk the accuser down” – to say anything which would calm her down.

A detective then contacted my client to discuss the allegations.  The client met with the detective and attempted to explain his side of the story: not only had nothing improper occurred between the two of them but he had text exchanges to prove it.  The detective seemed satisfied and months passed.  Out of the blue months later, the detective contacted the young man again and asked him to come to the precinct the next morning – he did not mention that an arrest was forthcoming.  At that point the client contacted me and told me all that had occurred up to that point.  It was clear to me that the phone conversation was taped and that my client would be arrested the next day – but not before the detective again tried to get my client to the precinct under false pretenses, to wheedle some useful evidence out of him for a weak case.  I contacted the detective and, sure enough, my client was being criminally charged the next day.  The charges included a felony (Criminal Sexual Act in the Third Degree – New York PL § 130.40(3)) and two misdemeanors (Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation – New York PL § 121.11(a) and Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree – New York PL § 130.55).  Had my client not discussed the alleged assault on the phone with the alleged victim, had not met with the detective in an attempt to tell his side of the story – but had simply contacted an attorney immediately, no charges would have been filed.  I can state emphatically that when I am contacted before there is contact between a client and either the “victim” or law enforcement, charges rarely if ever filed.

Contact a New York Domestic Violence Attorney Today

Instead of trying to talk your way out of a serious sexual assault allegation, contact an experienced New York Domestic Violence attorney today.  Call the attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman at (212) 581-1001 to discuss your case today. With decades of success on some of the biggest stages in the criminal defense world, we will ensure that your rights are protected and you get your life back.