Domestic Violence Release Conditions: What You Need to Know
After you are arrested for a domestic violence charge, you will be held in jail until a judge can set your bond and release conditions. You may be released without bond, but it is highly unlikely that you will be released without special conditions. Although they will vary by case and are at the judge’s discretion, common release conditions include:
- No participation in any form of criminal activity
- No possession or use of any weapon or firearm
- No contact with the alleged victim
- Living separately from the alleged victim
- No possession or use of drugs or alcohol
- GPS monitoring, often via an ankle bracelet
- House arrest
Your conditions will be made clear to you, if you are permitted pretrial release or release on bond. You should be aware that, if you are told not to have contact with the alleged victim, this typically includes communication of any kind as well as staying at least 500 feet away from the victim’s home, place of work, and vehicle. Any special conditions of your release are legally binding and breaking any of these conditions can result in a new criminal charge.
Penalties for Violating Release Conditions
Violating your release conditions is a first degree misdemeanor. Although this is a relatively minor offense, it can add up to a year in jail and up to $1,000 to your fines. You will also be held in jail until your court appearance, with no possibility for pretrial release.
While you will certainly be charged with a misdemeanor for violating your release conditions, you may face other charges, as well. Participation in a criminal activity such as stalking or criminal mischief, for example, will bring other criminal charges with it in addition to the misdemeanor. Contacting the victim could, in some cases, result in additional charges as well, including destruction of property or harassment.
Pretrial Release Violation Defenses
Pretrial release conditions seem relatively straightforward. However, you may find yourself charged with violating them even if you have worked to follow the conditions carefully. For example, your daily life may accidentally bring you within 500 feet of the alleged victim. Even if you had no knowledge of his or her presence there, the contact could be reported and charged as a violation of your release. You may use this as a defense against the accusation that you violated your release.
If the alleged violation of your pretrial release conditions is the commission of a crime which you did not commit, your defense will rely on proving your innocence. Your attorney can help you to gather the necessary evidence for both your domestic violence and other criminal charges, potentially reducing or eliminating your jail time.
Contact an Attorney
You may believe that you simply have to accept and abide by your pretrial release conditions, as well as any penalties for violating them. However, the team at Moses and Rooth, Attorneys at Law, may be able to help you change your release conditions, particularly if the alleged victim requests contact. If you are found in violation of your release conditions, your attorney may also be able to help you prove that the violation was unintentional, thus reducing or eliminating the consequences. Call (407) 377-0150 now to get legal help.