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Legal-Guru
Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
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My daughter 21&3/4 yrs old, Indian origin studying in California,

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My daughter 21&3/4 yrs old, Indian origin studying in California, on student status, she was dating an American citizen 24 yrs old, for a year, she has been verbally and physically abused by him, until recently he went overboard by physically pushing(no visible bruises) her etc..not knowing what to do, she went to the police, for options, they said since the officer is now aware, they have to check this guy out and ended up arresting him. Now she does not want to press charges, then she approached catalyst org who advised on taking a restraining order, cos he was calling her and wud go to her house etc. it seems the state wud press charges anyway.
She wants all this behind her and finish her college and have nothing to do with this guy.
My question is will my daughter have to go to courts and lawyers etc or is it over. Can the guy harass her anymore? Can he implicate her in any legal proceedings? She has 2 years more to complete, will this have any bad record on her impacting her carrier or college status. Is there something we should look out for? We are worried and scared…
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer.

I am sorry that your daughter experienced this. Domestic violence is a serious but all too common crime. I certainly understand your concerns for your daughter especially with her being far from home and in a foreign country. You must feel somewhat helpless. Hopefully, I can ease some of your concerns and her concerns.

(1) This will in no way negatively impact her college studies or career following. She is the victim and will suffer no legal consequences or stigma from that.

(2) She does not need a lawyer. If the State of California prosecutes her ex-boyfriend, the District Attorney's (DA) office will look out for her best interests even though they do not technically represent her.

(3) She can express her desire not to prosecute to the police and DA's office, but ultimately that is a decision the DA will have to make. Domestic violence is taken very seriously in the U.S. and most prosecutors are reluctant to drop charges even when the victim requests it. This is because many, many victims become injured at the hand of their spouse or boyfriend, report it, seek to drop charges, reconcile, and eventually become victims again. That does not sound like your daughter's situation, but that is what the prosecutors typically deal with. They also have the obligation to consider potential future victims (i.e., this man's next girlfriend) before dropping charges.

(4) If the State prosecutes him, she will have to go to court to testify. This sounds scarier than it is. It happens every day and the professionals in the DA's office are usually pretty good at calming victims' fears.

(5) If she really wants this guy to leave her alone, her best course of action would be to maintain the protective order and cooperate in the prosecution. Dropping charges may be the path of least resistance, but it sends a message to him that he can abuse women and get away with it. He will be more likely to continue with the harassment if charges are dropped. If she cooperates with authorities and he continues to harass her, he will be arrested and held in jail.

(6) She may want to seek out counselors or advisers at her college who are familiar with the process and can ease her fears. There may even be some counselors/advisers who specifically work with students of Indian descent.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


thanks for your compassion..


 


referring point 5 " maintain the protective order and cooperate in the prosecution" what if she does not want to go to court or cooperate in the prosecution..you know she is scared now...can that be avoided? if so at what cost

Expert:  Legal-Guru replied 1 year ago.
If she is subpoenaed to go to court, she will not have a choice whether or not to go. Ignoring a subpoena, could result in her arrest. This would only be making things unnecessarily much harder on herself. The last thing the DA wants to do is arrest victims, but sometimes when the only choice is between that and letting a criminal go free they will do so.

It is important to remember that the criminal action is not her vs. him. It is the State of California versus him. She is the victim and a witness but not the plaintiff or a party to the proceedings. In the protective order proceeding it is her versus him and those can normally be dropped at the plaintiff's request although I think doing so would be a bad idea.

I realize the whole thing can be intimidating, but the only thing she really has to fear is that this guy will not leave her alone or will physically abuse her again. No one in the DA's office or court system is going to be mean to her or treat her poorly.
Legal-Guru, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1342
Experience: Experienced Criminal Trial Attorney since 1998.
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