Get Away From the Incident
Now, obviously, not ideal, but sometimes it does happen. Domestic violence occurs. What do you do if you have committed an act of domestic violence? Well, first of all, get away. Get away from the incident, allow yourself some time to cool off. Maybe this will lead her not to call or report it just because there’s no longer a threat.
The other benefit to that is rather than being on the scene when the police arrive, they’re going to file what is called an out of custody affidavit and refer it to law enforcement, which is going to give you time to talk to a lawyer about what happened. Also, line up a bondsman and wait and be able to watch for issuance of that warrant. You may very well be able to surrender and make the process of going in custody much quicker and easier for you.
Now, obviously, if you’re not on the scene, they can’t use your statements against you. There are no Jackson Denno concerns, meaning that we don’t have to worry about whether or not you have admitted you’re guilty.
Another thing is that if you’re not present on the scene, you’re not present during the investigation. The only person that can identify you as being on the scene is the victim of the crime. She may very well have other credibility issues and a reason for saying that you’re there.
Also, you want to consider that Leo Law Enforcement officers cannot actually observe your physical condition. Whether or not there’s a variation on your hands or some kind of other wounds related to the struggle. At the end of the day, get the fuck out of there.
Some other things to consider as well, when you do leave, obviously don’t talk to anybody about whatever happened. It goes without saying you don’t want to talk to the police about it without consulting with a lawyer first, but something that a lot of people don’t think about, you don’t want to be talking to third parties about either. You make an incriminating admission to a third party, if that person surfaces later, they are a witness and if you make a statement against your own interest, they can testify to it.
The best advice in a situation like that, shut it. Then go to a friend’s house, go get a hotel room, whatever, but the first person you should be talking to about whatever happened is a lawyer. Not your friend, not your mom, not you’re whoever, because you don’t want to create witnesses.
Something to do, if you find yourself in that situation as well as leaving is if it’s during the day, when you have the ability to immediately get a lawyer, like Keith said, probably want to get a good a card for a good bondsman. At some point in time, if it is referred for prosecution, you may need both.
I wanted to bring it back a little bit to something he said about going to a friend’s house. Now, we’ve got to be concerned about collateral witnesses and witnesses identifying your locations on or near the time of the incident. Before you go to your friend’s house, you might take some time for yourself. If you’re not drunk, take a drive around the town. If you are drunk, don’t put yourself in a public place where you could be arrested for other things, but give yourself some time.
As far as it goes, you will not have to testify. You have a right against self-incrimination and so the time between when you are wherever you are and when you show up to your friend’s house, a period of three to four hours, two to three hours, that will just be a gap period. The only thing tying you to the location will be the testimony of the state’s victim.
Something else to be aware of, if you have been drinking and you are in that situation, you probably want to, as he said, allow yourself some cooling downtime and allow yourself some time to sober up. Probably wouldn’t be a good thing to have some neutral third party, especially if you got to go check into a hotel.
You don’t want somebody at the front desk to be able to tell the police you were drunk. I mean, that doesn’t help you and if your wife is saying you were drunk and violent, having yourself show up at the hotel drunk, doesn’t help.
Could corroborate it.
Yes, exactly. It’s something to be aware of. Don’t keep drinking. Alcohol, as I’m sure all of us guys know, alcohol makes you stupid and you don’t want to go off and take a bad situation and make it work.
We’ve already done some stupid if we’re at this point so let’s not make it any worse.
Don’t call her. Don’t try to communicate with her. If it’s gone to the point where violence has occurred, communication time is done. You don’t need to be talking to her. Now that’s going to do is dig you in deeper.
And it potentially makes things worse in terms of I’m sure there’s a two way street on every domestic violence incident, there’s always competing interests at play, volatility. So just getaway, getaway, getaway. Get away from her and that’ll make sure that nothing gets worse.
The only other thing I would say too, and this goes along with don’t talk to her is for crying out loud, still off of social media. I mean, that’s a generally good rule anytime you find yourself in a legal situation, but in something like this, especially don’t get on Facebook. I mean, just stay off. All you’re going to do is cause yourself a problem and attorneys check Facebook religiously when it comes to situations like this, for exactly that reason. Social media is another one, don’t. Find somewhere to go cool off, getaway, shut your mouth, and go find somewhere you can spend the night that isn’t home.
Last but not least, it goes without saying, but don’t talk to your kids about it. Obviously don’t talk to your kids about it. For obvious reasons, you don’t want to involve them in something like that. You don’t want to expose them to those kinds of things, but also it could have the problem I mean, for you going forward in terms of incriminating yourself.
This has been Keith Flinn and the Fathers’ rights attorney Brian Jackson. Tulsa Fathers Rights team here in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the Wirth Law Office, give us a call.