Getting Domestic Violence Charges Dropped (aka Dismissed)
Domestic violence charges are serious and charges can be legitimate or illegitimate. These charges can be a stain on your record — getting domestic violence charges dropped is crucial and one must try to do so, if possible. While there is no legitimate argument to support the attack on a loved one, not everything is always black and white. When provoked, people often do stupid things but sometimes, a completely innocent person can wind up being prosecuted for a crime they didn’t commit. In a heat of an argument, you can accidentally scratch the wrist of your spouse with your nail and, if they feel like it, this could be enough for the authorities to legally prosecute you. In order to avoid this from ever becoming a serious legal issue, you need to inquire about when and how these charges can get dropped.
1. Is there a police intervention?
In some states, it is customary for a domestic violence complaint to be handled with the arbitration of the police. In some cases, the complaint is filed by one of the neighbors, without the knowledge of the inhabitants of the troubled household. Therefore, police officers arrive at the premises and, in most cases, they are the ones to remove the ‘seemingly more aggressive party’.
Keep in mind, that, in this scenario, officers may be summoned to testify in the court of law. So, if, by any chance, you were the victim of the assault prior to their arrival, yet, upon their entry to the house, you appeared to be a more aggressive party, they are likely to testify against you. In other words, your manner of conduct in this situation is pivotal, seeing as how their testimony will be all that the district attorney needs in order to file the charges against you as the aggressor.
2. Victim and witness are not one and the same thing
The problem with wanting your domestic violence charge to be dismissed lies in admitting that you were at fault. You see, before there is a conviction, there’s no such thing as the victim and the other party (the one accusing you) will be treated as the complaining witness or complainant. While this piece of information may currently seem trivial, proper wording and use of legal terminology may sometimes make all the difference.
In a situation where you know you were in the wrong and want to remedy the situation, you might agree to meet with the victim and witness coordinator and try to make things right. Together, the victim (now that you’ve admitted to your wrongdoing) and the witness coordinator will be able to persuade the DA to drop the charges, however, you will have to make some amends. Most commonly, this comes down to the counseling therapy (provided you still decide to stay together), as well as a couple of individual anger management treatments (for you) and victim awareness classes (for the injured party).
3. Victim cooperation is not necessary
Seeing as how some victims decide to be uncooperative out of the fear of the consequences, their cooperation in the testimony is no longer vital to the prosecution. This is perhaps the main thing you need to keep in mind. The complaining witness (the victim), does not have the authority to have the charges dropped. Therefore, not only will pressure or persuasion attempts on them not make any difference but they could even make you look even guiltier than you really are.
What is important, however, is that the lack of evidence usually ends in the dismissal of the case, even in a situation where the complaining witness does decide to cooperate. In other words, this is the main reason why most people who are innocently accused don’t come to bear consequences in the end. On the other hand, circumstances may sometimes be extremely odd and some of the more deranged complaining witnesses were known to display self-incurred wounds and bruises in front of the DA. Either way, not even this is something you can cling on with 100 percent surety.
4. Don’t try to wing it
Finally, some people are so convinced that their innocence is an impenetrable armor that they simply try to ‘wing it’ and avoid charges on their own. According to experts behind Withstand Lawyers, you need on your side a legal team that is experienced in both family, criminal and compensation law in order to get the best possible outcome.
Next, you need to be 100 per cent honest with your lawyer or legal team and tell them exactly the way in which things happened, so that they can tell you the best- and the worst-case scenario that you are facing. Based on this, you will have a couple of important decisions to make; decisions whose repercussions will stay with you for years to come. From here, it either goes to the outright dismissal of charges, settlement or the dropping or redutcion of some charges. So, innocent or not, you need to contact your lawyer as soon as possible. Again, getting domestic violence charges dropped is crucial and one must try to do so, if possible.
At the end of the day, not all is about the fear of a prison sentence of a financial penalty. There’s simply no reason to allow a smudge on your good name if you can prevent it. Years later, you don’t want to be an abusive parent in the eyes of your child who’s currently too young to remember the real version. The truth is that no matter how right you are, this might not matter unless you are ready and able to defend yourself by legal means. For this, however, you need to possess the knowledge that will help you take an appropriate legal action. After all, proving innocence is even your ethical obligation as a citizen who wants to see the justice served.
This is a guest post by Ronald Wolf. This post has been edited for syntax and grammar. The Law offices of Jay Leiderman is not responsible for the accuracy of the content herein or any opinions or ideas expressed herein. This post is for entertainment and literary value and is not intended as legal advice. If you have legal questions about ideas presented herein please contact a lawyer knowledgeable in this field of practice.