Domestic violence charges can rock you life in a way that you never would have expected. If you are facing these serious charges, you should think carefully about how the charges can impact your life now and later. It is imperative that you don’t sit around and hope the charges resolve themselves because that isn’t likely to happen.

#1: Circumstances can vary

The circumstances of a domestic violence case can vary greatly. Many people think about physical abuse as the only way that a man can face domestic violence charges. The fact of the matter is that you can face these charges for sexual abuse, financial abuse or emotional abuse. You have to think carefully about what the prosecution is claiming when you plan your defense.

#2: Victims can’t drop charges

A common misconception in these cases is that the victim can drop the charges against you. This isn’t possible. Victims can opt to stop cooperating with officials; however, this doesn’t mean that the case is dropped. The case can still proceed. In some cases, the prosecution might drop the charge if the victim isn’t willing to cooperate but this is up to only the prosecution. In fact, the victim might face legal troubles if she doesn’t show up for court as ordered. Even if she doesn’t plan on testifying, she must still show up if she is subpoenaed.

#3: You have defense options

Domestic violence charges require you to think about the defense you will present. There are various defense options that you can consider. Ultimately, the defense you choose should answer the prosecution’s claims regarding what you did. Finding defense options might be challenging if the case is based on a she-said-he-said situation. Cases involving physical evidence, such as doctor reports or photos of injuries, might be a bit more complicated to defend against.

#4: Collateral consequences are possible

Domestic violence cases can come with many collateral consequences. One of the most notable is that you might not be able to return home. If you were served with a restraining order, you must stay away from your wife. You may also have to stay away from your children. Since domestic violence is considered a violent crime, you might also face consequences like not being able to own a firearm. The mark on your criminal history might prevent you from being able to hold certain jobs or find housing in certain places.

Think carefully about all of these issues when deciding what to do about your case. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you achieve the most favorable outcome possible.