A Former Prosecutor Defending Clients in Wyoming and South Dakota
If you’re facing domestic violence charges in Wyoming, you may be frustrated, angry, or feel betrayed – and possibly scared about what might happen next and what you should expect.
But make no mistake – even if you believe the charges are baseless and without merit, defending domestic violence charges should be taken seriously. Depending on the severity of the alleged offense, possible penalties may include hefty fines and even jail time. Because of the potentially high cost, both in terms of money and your freedom, you should contact an experienced Wyoming domestic violence defense attorney to defend you. And because domestic violence cases move quickly, you should hire a lawyer as soon as possible.
To help you better understand Wyoming domestic violence charges and what you are facing, I’ve put together a timeline of how a domestic violence case proceeds. I also address some of the defenses your lawyer can raise that could help reduce the charge, or even have the case thrown out.
In Wyoming, charges for domestic violence usually start in one of two ways: either the victim files for a Temporary Restraining Order, or the police were called to your home because of a domestic dispute. If the victim filed for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), you are not allowed to contact the victim or engage in certain conduct for a limited period of time. Because domestic violence charges involve people who share a residence, the TRO often prohibits you from returning to the residence. In cases where the police were called to the residence, you were probably arrested and are now subject to a TRO.
Because the TRO is only in place for a limited period of time, the court will move quickly to schedule a full hearing on the restraining order. It is important that you hire an attorney before the hearing. If you don’t, you could compromise your rights and make beating the domestic violence charge even harder.
Domestic violence charges are usually based on an underlying criminal charge, like:
Depending on the severity of the underlying crime, you could be facing felony or misdemeanor charges.
When you’re faced with a Wyoming domestic violence charge, you are not only defending yourself against the charge of domestic violence; you must also defend yourself against the underlying offense. It just so happens that in a domestic violence case, the victim and aggressor live together.
There are two primary defenses to charges of domestic violence. One is that case should be dismissed because the victim’s complaint does not rise to the level of domestic violence. The other is that your actions were taken in self-defense, or to protect a child.
In addition to the defenses specifically related to domestic violence, you can also assert defenses that apply to all criminal cases. For example, your Wyoming criminal defense attorney could challenge whether the court has jurisdiction over the parties, or whether the parties are subject to Wyoming’s domestic violence statute.
My defense team will also investigate fact-specific defenses, like whether the alleged conduct even occurred or, if it did occur, whether it rises to the level of being a crime. We will also investigate potential constitutional defenses relating to how the police handled the investigation, questioning, and interrogation, as well as any possibly illegal searches and seizures. Additional defenses to charges of domestic violence include challenging the evidence of the crime, such as any photographs that show the scene or any alleged injuries, whether either or both of the parties were using drugs or alcohol at the time of the alleged offense, and whether the victim played a role in starting the incident that led to charges being filed.
Wyoming domestic violence charges should not be taken lightly. If convicted, you could face hefty fines and costs, possible jail time, and have a violent crime on your criminal record for the rest of your life. With the potential costs so high, it’s important that you hire an experienced team of domestic violence defense professionals as soon as possible.
If you have questions or need an experienced Wyoming domestic violence defense attorney, contact Just Criminal Law today. Based in Gillette, Wyoming, my team represents people throughout Northeast Wyoming and Western South Dakota. Call us at 307-686-6556, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete our online form.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.