Criminal charges can tarnish anyone’s reputation, but domestic violence charges are especially damaging. Just ask former NFL quarterback Erik Kramer.
You might remember Kramer from his four years with the Chicago Bears. He retired from football in 1999, but he made news earlier this month after he was arrested for domestic violence.
His wife, Cortney Baird, claimed that the morning after an argument escalated to Kramer swearing at her and pushing her. She also claims that he broke glass and picture frames, and threw a knife block at her.
Kramer was released on $50,000 bond hours after his arrest. His wife has since filed for divorce and for an emergency restraining order, telling police that she fears for her life.
Kramer’s recent family history includes many tragedies, including the death of his son. In the next few months, he will have to face criminal charges and prepare his case. While this is a daunting task, he still may be able to walk free and avoid a domestic violence conviction, but there’s another question that’s just as important: can he repair his tarnished reputation? How?
How to Protect Yourself – and Your Reputation – after Chicago Domestic Violence Charges
Kramer’s story isn’t unique. Domestic violence charges are like a scarlet letter. A brand that tells people to stay away from you. A conviction on these types of charges can put your behind bars, but even once you have served your time or paid fines, you may find it hard to find a job or a place to live. A quick Google search could reveal your convictions to employers, landlords, or even dates.
So, what’s the best way to protect your reputation? By preparing a strong defense strategy designed to show that you did not commit the crimes you are accused of. Successfully doing this will not only prevent you from suffering criminal consequences, but also serve to restore the luster of your good name.
There are many defenses available for people who have been accused of domestic violence. Not all of these will be applicable to your case, but the below are commonly used to fight allegations.
False domestic violence accusations may be made during a divorce process in order to get child custody or a more favorable settlement, as well as in other situations. If someone is accusing you out of spite, your lawyer’s job is to make their intentions known while showing that you did not engage in any violence.
If you can prove that you were somewhere else at the time and place that the alleged incident happened, you can show that the accuser is lying – or at least wrong about it being you.
If police enter a scene of domestic violence and both people are fighting, they may accidentally charge the victim. This person could have been defending themselves after being attacked, and they have the right to plead their case in court and prove that their significant other/relative/roommate, etc. was the one responsible for domestic violence.
Intoxication may not excuse you from committing domestic violence, but if you acted due to substance abuse or anger issues, you may be able to avoid jail time by going to a rehab facility instead, and repair your reputation by putting forth the effort to get better. Reach out to a psychologist before your case to show that you have made an effort to get sober or treat anger issues.
Build Your Defense to Fight Conviction and Protect Your Good Name
Remember, where domestic violence charges are concerned, avoiding criminal penalties is only half the battle. You still need to be able to live once the case is over, and that means working with an Illinois domestic violence lawyer who understands how to protect your reputation as well.
About the Author
Sami Azhari has been working as a lawyer since 2007, after receiving his Juris Doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. He has handled numerous state and federal cases, and is known throughout the Chicago and Rolling Meadows area for providing his clients with high-quality, skilled representation. He has been recognized by SuperLawyers, the National Trial Lawyers Association, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.