Washington state takes domestic violence very seriously. Once someone files a domestic abuse complaint, police officers in some jurisdictions have the authority to make an arrest within four hours if they establish probable cause. Sometimes, they can even do this without a warrant.
Still, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution, and defendants get the presumption of innocence when faced with any charges. Knowing your Miranda rights and patiently trusting the process can work in your favor.
Know your Miranda rights
If you get arrested, it does not mean you are guilty. Defendants in a court of law have the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise. Remaining silent, asking for counsel to be present and waiting for the court-appointed counsel if you cannot afford it are all legal rights that you possess as an innocent person. If an officer arrives and wants to question you before making an arrest, be aware that they may use your answers in court.
Wait for the prosecution to determine the charges
Patience is key. Before making any statement to police or investigators, wait to see if the prosecutor decides that there is not enough evidence to win the case, or if the accuser drops the charges. This is not very common, but it does happen. Speaking too soon only gives them more evidence. There are many wrongful arrests each year. The consequences of domestic violence charges can be severe if you don’t know your options. Trust your team and let the process unfold.