Holiday Stress and Domestic Violence: Tips for Avoiding Legal Troubles this Holiday Season

The Holidays can be an extremely stressful time for many people. Between increased social and financial obligations and the large amounts of alcohol that are consumed this time of year, our firm always tends to see a spike in cases of domestic violence. This year, we are hoping to help stop that trend, and so we have complied a list of tips to help you avoid an arrest if a situation escalates and becomes out of control.

1. Remove yourself from a bad situation

If you and your significant other are in a dispute, we always encourage you to “be the bigger person” and walk away if possible. If your spouse or significant other is out of control and angry, you should protect yourself but avoid physical confrontation. You should call 911 immediately if you feel cornered or unable to leave the situation.

2. Avoid alcohol

Alcohol seems to be involved in the majority of domestic violence cases we see. If things are rocky between you and your significant other, avoid drinking as it tends to make things worse.

3. What to do if your significant other calls law enforcement

If your significant other calls the police to your home to make a report of domestic violence, you should know that there is a good chance you will be arrested and the statements you make will be used against you. You should know that you always have the option of speaking with an attorney before speaking to law enforcement. Refrain from using abusive or foul language when speaking to law enforcement officers. It is important that you maintain your composure, especially if the allegations made against you are false.

4. Avoid making threats or saying nasty things

Any statements you make can become evidence against you later in court, especially those made in writing. No matter how upset you are, it is never appropriate to make any kind of threat against your significant other. This includes statements like “I will ruin you” or “you will never see your children again.” Even if you are the victim, these statements can be harmful to your case later in court. Use your discretion and try to imagine that everything you say is going to be overheard by a judge later in your case. This will help you to keep from making inappropriate statements.

5. Seek counseling or help

If you and your significant other are going through a tough time, consider getting into counseling now. While it may be expensive to see a therapist or family counselor, it is much cheaper than a divorce and there is a chance that you can salvage your relationship.

If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact an attorney with our firm at 813-281-2897. We have an attorney on call 24/7, including on holidays.

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