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If You Live with the Person Accusing You of Domestic Abuse

By San Diego Attorney on February 10, 2024

A black and white image of a women sitting holding her knees and resting her head in her arms.

Being accused of domestic abuse can be a shocking wake-up call. Whether the accusation was unexpected or something you should have seen coming, its effects on your life, work, and family can be far-reaching and hard to erase. This situation can be even more difficult if you live with the person accusing you of domestic abuse.

Dealing with the Emotional Strain and Stigma

Any domestic violence accusation brings a heavy emotional toll. During this time, it is important to find ways to deal with the strain and motivate yourself to carry on. Consider these points to help you cope:

  • Stay focused. Your accuser may try to bait you. Adopt a calm demeanor and focus on protecting yourself by not engaging in altercations.
  • Contact jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys. The one person you can speak to in absolute confidence is a criminal defense lawyer. We can help determine your legal options moving forward.
  • Take it slow. This is a difficult moment, but you can get through it. Do not rush or go into anxiety. Analyzing your options, rather than acting emotionally, will help you to make the best decisions.
  • Consider the feasibility of temporary relocation. If you live with your accuser, a family member or friend would possibly be willing to let you stay with them while the situation cools off.
  • Respectfully decline to discuss your case. If you are asked questions by friends and family, do not go into the details. These statements can be used against you in court.
  • Be cooperative in professional situations. If your case affects your work, your employer may be under pressure. In all meetings to discuss your employment, remain professional, respectful, and cooperative. Your demeanor can help you have a better chance of returning to your former status after the case is resolved.
  • Focus on personal growth and rehabilitation. Take this incident as a reason to step back and evaluate your life. Consider what areas to focus on improving so your current circumstances do not repeat. Decide on your personal improvement target and find options to help you see real change.

Knowing Your Rights and Responsibilities

When you are accused of a serious crime in California, such as domestic abuse, you have these rights:

  • The right to an attorney
  • The right to remain silent
  • The right to avoid self-incrimination
  • The right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure (per the 4th Amendment)
  • The right to cross-examine witnesses and challenge evidence (your lawyer can help with this)

As a person accused of domestic abuse, you also have specific responsibilities to:

  • Comply with all temporary restraining orders (TROs). A TRO is a court order that is issued to stop suspected abuse from occurring immediately but only lasts a specified time. If a TRO orders you to remain 100 yards from the accuser, you must set up alternative living arrangements. If you violate the TRO, you endanger your case in court by giving the appearance of continued aggression.
  • Comply with all preliminary injunctions. A Preliminary Injunction is a court order issued to maintain the status quo during legal proceedings. They are usually issued to ensure domestic partners do not take major actions such as selling assets, changing insurance policies, or moving children to another state until the case has been completed.
  • Protect your rights and property. If your significant other is acting accusatively, change the passwords on any of your accounts to keep them safe. If you have property or equipment in your name, keep the keys or access codes secure.

Protect Your Rights with jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys

Being accused of domestic abuse can have a profound impact on your life and future. James N. Dicks, founding attorney of jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has been serving the people of Southern California for over 30 years.

We believe that everyone deserves a second chance, and our San Diego domestic violence defense lawyer has the knowledge, experience, and resources to navigate the complex legal maze you are facing right now.

Let us take action on your behalf to fight for your future—call (760) 630-2000 today for a free and confidential consultation.

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