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How Soon Should You Contact an Attorney after an Arrest for Domestic Violence?

Interviewer: How quickly can an attorney intervene in a domestic violence case or how soon after I’ve been charged can I contact my attorney?

It Is Advisable to Contact an Attorney as Soon as You Are Able to Do So

David: You’d want to do so immediately. Generally speaking, when a person’s arrested for one of the domestic violence offenses here in New Hampshire, the police will at the police station call the bail commissioner, he’s an official appointed by the court to set bail at nights and weekends. The bail commissioner would talk to the police, interview with the client regarding bail issues and set bail.

Frequently, a No-Contact Order, Prohibiting Contact with the Victim Will Be Issued

One of the standard provisions that exist in domestic violence cases is a prohibition of the defendant having contact with the individual that the police have identified as the victim. Frequently, a no-contact provision also includes language to the effect “you of can’t go home.” Some courts have a 100-yard limit; you can’t go within 100 yards of where the person would be.

The No-Contact Order Is a Term of Bail Being Set

There is a standard bail form where they basically say, “You can’t call the person, have direct personal contact, third-party contact, cannot mail, email, text, you can’t any contact at all with the individual that the police identified as the victim,” and you can’t go to the place of employment.

You can’t go to the school. You can’t go to the house. So that basically when citizens are arrested and become criminal defendants with that type of bail condition, it’s essential to contact a lawyer immediately because those types of issues have a significant impact on one’s life, even before you go to court.