You and your spouse got into an argument. Voices were raised. You fully admit that the two of you weren’t getting along and that your temper got the better of you.
Here’s the problem: You live in an apartment. Your neighbors could hear everything, but they thought the situation was more serious than it was. They called the police with allegations of domestic violence. Now what?
Should your neighbor have called the police?
In all likelihood, your neighbor thought they were helping. They thought they were doing the right thing.
However, experts argue that it often makes things far worse to call the police when it’s not clear if anything illegal actually happened. It’s not illegal to argue. Your neighbor didn’t see any evidence of violence. In short, they shouldn’t have called unless they were sure that there was a good reason to do so.
The situation could get more dangerous now, for many reasons. Maybe your spouse assumes you called the police and becomes furious. Maybe the police are biased or prejudiced against you and make assumptions about what you did — even if you never laid a finger on your spouse. Maybe the officers just got bad information from your neighbor about events that never took place.
The key is to cooperate and try to explain to the police that you did have an argument but that no one got hurt and that things never went that far. Ideally, you can help to de-escalate the situation and the police will leave without arresting anyone.
What should you do now that you’ve been charged with domestic violence?
That said, if they do arrest you and you’re suddenly facing allegations of domestic violence and abuse, you absolutely need to know what legal defense options you have.