Domestic violence cases carry stiff penalties under Idaho laws. Not only that, you may be presumed guilty from the moment you are accused of a domestic violence crime. This presumption is often shared by law enforcement officers and the courts as well. This is why defending yourself against the charge is an uphill battle and you need the help of a Boise domestic battery attorney to do so.
When faced with a domestic violence charge, it helps to understand how the court process works. Understanding the process allows you to be less stressed through it and ensure that you stay on the right side of the law. Here is a look at how the initial mandatory court hearing works as well as the typical pre-release conditions set forth in domestic violence cases.
Mandatory Court Appearance
For many criminal offenses, Idaho courts allow the defendant to post bail before appearing in front of the court. However, when it comes to domestic violence cases, you can’t post bail before a court hearing.
Before a hearing could be conducted, the court requires the prosecutor to conduct a thorough background check on you. The prosecutor looks for any previous instances of domestic violence, domestic complaints, criminal offenses, or any other injunctions issued against you.
The hearing itself is scheduled within 24 hours of the arrest. At the hearing, the prosecutor presents details of your previous history to the presiding judge. The judge reads out the ‘probable cause’ affidavit submitted by the officer who arrested you.
At this point, you and your attorney have the right to contest this ‘probable cause.’ In many cases, a domestic violence arrest is not procedurally sound or there are other weaknesses in the case. Although your attorney may point these out, judges are inclined to find that probable cause exists in an overwhelming majority of domestic violence cases.
Once the judge finds that probable cause exists, a bond will set for your pre-trial release. At the same time, the judge will also define the conditions of your pre-trial release.
Pre-Trial Release Conditions
The pre-trial release conditions are typically meant to safeguard the alleged victim of a domestic violence cause. One of the most common conditions set forth in domestic violence cases is a no-contact order.
A no-contact order is a court order that prohibits you from going anywhere near the named victim. This means that you may not be able to go within 500 feet of your home if the no-contact order bars you from seeing a partner or spouse you live with. The order also effectively prohibits you from making calls, emailing, or texting the victim. You can later seek to have the no-contact order terminated or modified.
Pre-Trial Services Unit Supervision
For Boise domestic battery cases, a judge will typically release you into the supervision of the Ada County Sheriff’s Pre-Trial Service Unit (PSU). In some cases, the judge may mandate that the accused wear a GPS monitor.
The PSU is then scheduled to meet you on the next working day. If a GPS monitor is mandated by the court, the PSU also brings one at this meeting. Under the supervision of the PSU, you can resume work and continue other everyday activities without violating the no-contact order. A specific PSU supervisor may remain in touch with you to track your whereabouts on a regular basis.
At the end of the hearing, the judge typically sets an amount for the bond. Once you pay this amount, you must still wait for the PSU meeting to be released from jail. Depending on the day of the hearing, this can take anywhere between a few hours to up to 2 days.
Why Hire a Boise Domestic Battery Attorney?
If you have been arrested for domestic violence in Boise, Idaho, it is imperative that you hire an attorney at the earliest. You will need sound legal advice and help before, during, and after the pre-trial court hearing.
Here at Hooper Law Offices, our Boise attorneys handle domestic violence cases on a routine basis. We believe that everyone has a right to a fair defense. This is why we work with you to ensure that you are able to get out of the jail at the earliest while pleading for the mildest pre-trial release conditions. We also help you fight no-contact orders. Reach out to us today to discuss your Boise domestic violence case with our attorneys.