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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16614
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My husband was arrested for, PC 664/187(A) PC 273.5(A) and

Customer Question

My husband was arrested for, PC 664/187(A) PC 273.5(A) and PC 422. I have a subpoena to go tomorrow to court for a preliminary hearing. My question comes in because, I sent a letter to the public defenders office clarifying to them that that night I was not afraid, but I was embelishing on the story because I was angry, and also because he broke his sobriety and I want him to get my husband mental/substance abuse help. I also corrected something I told the police about what actually happened. Will I be held for obstruction of justice? Can I face charges for giving false information? The DA left a message for me telling me, "I will need to speak to the judge about the letter." Does this change the case? I did not call the police, my husband did. I am located in Southern California.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
Although DAs tell their complainants not to talk to the defense attorney on their case, there is no crime in doing so, in and of itself. You're not saying an incident never happened. You're not saying that you don't want to prosecute, even though you didn't press these charges in the first place. What you are saying is you were angry enough at your husband to have let your emotions prevail over your common sense when you were talking to the police in the emergency room. You are not scared of your husband but you do think he needs help with a substance abuse problem, which is the real culprit, as far as you're concerned.

You shouldn't face obstruction charges if you honor the subpoena and if you tell the truth at the hearing. If you were telling the truth in the letter to your husband's lawyer, then it's not perjury to stick to those facts at a preliminary hearing.

Of course, the judge is going to have to learn of the letter. The DA did not tell you that to make a threat. This is the kind of fact that the judge would have to know in order to deal with the case. If the DA didn't make the judge aware of it, the defense surely would.

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice.



Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16614
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Zoey_ JD and 10 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for addressing the concerns I have. What do you think he is up against? When he was drunk, after a year of sobriety, he called the police and said, "I have just tried to kill my wife." For the last year he has been dealing with a prior molestation and PTSD. He has been sent to the mental hospital for threating to kill himself. I sent over all of the documentation regadring his diagnosis. They gave him an original deal of 10 years and then came back to him with 7 years. I want him to get the help he needs, but, it seems like an insurmountable problem. I have written him and visted him, but he has not initiated the contact. I originally went for a restraining order, but I realize I broke it by having contact with him. What do you think will happen tomorrow? What will happen if it goes to a trial? Thank You.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
Your husband was drunk when he called the police. He also has documentable mental health issues, even when sober.

The police have no discretion when called to the scene of an alleged domestic problem when both parties are in the household. The must make an arrest.

I don't know what the police saw and heard going on in your home. I don't know if there were any other witnesses who saw what was going on either. If it was just you and your husband who were party to whatever happened, the DA is not going to be able to make out an attempted murder, etc., against your husband if you, the complaining witness say that that he was not trying to kill you.

If you testify to the truth of what did happen and that truth makes it look very difficult (or impossible) for the DA to make out the elements of some or all of the charges against your husband, then some of them may be dismissable after the hearing, or weakened to such an extent that maybe you can get the help for your husband that you want.

DAs know that victims of abuse sometimes want charges dropped or reduced only because they are afraid of their spouse and what he might do to them. So they push complainants very hard to continue the prosecuton along the lines of the orignal charges including talking about perjury and obstruction. But if those charge against your husband don't reflect the truth, and you didn't make the attempted murder allegation but your husband did, the truth is what you've sworn to tell.

You are a DAs witness. They will speak to you before a hearing to discuss your testimony. Stick to the truth. Make it clear you're sticking to the truth and maybe a trial will turn out to be unnecessary.

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The only people in the room were my husband and myself. I left the house and went to my parent's home. Then my husband called the police. When the police came by to take follow up pictures he told me the report was 2.5 pages long and told me that I said I was knocked out. That is not true. That is why I went to get a copy of the report to see what the police wrote. It seemed to me that the cop was embelishing on what I said. Do I then just tell the truth and correct the mistake?

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
Yes. You can correct the mistake.

Understand that if you are not telling the truth, then that is perjury and, arguably obstruction. But you were at the scene, and the cops and the DA were not. And so, if it IS the truth you can certainly say that you know you didn't tell the police some of those things on the police report because you know you were not knocked out and wouldn't have said that you were.

You may not get a chance to correct everything on direct examination but your husband's lawyer should be able to get it all out on cross.

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice.

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