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S. Huband, Esq.
S. Huband, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1136
Experience:  Experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
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My boyfriend came home drunk and acted like a monster, punching holes in the walls of our

Customer Question

My boyfriend came home drunk and acted like a monster, punching holes in the walls of our home. He was throwing things at me, and ripped my shirt, pulled the door knob off of our bedroom door. When I finally was scared enough to call the cops he took my cell phone and broke it. This is way out of character for him, and now there is a 10 day no contact order between us, after knowing him 15 years, this is the first time I have ever felt afraid of him this behavior is not normal. We live together, and I am worried what will happen to him. I told the cops I did not want to press charges. They took pictures of our home too. I called the cops because he was drunk and destroying our new home I needed help, I did not want him to go to jail. I really wanted him to stop and he is 3 times my size, I was unable to stop him. They asked if he hit me and I said no he pushed me then they arrested him. I really hope we can get past this, and I hope they look into the fact that he was drunk.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the opportunity to assist you. You've raised several important issues, so I'll address them one at a time.

Q) I told the cops that I did not want to press charges. They said I no longer have that choice.

This is correct. Once a report of possible criminal activity is made to the police, it is up to the officers whether or not to arrest the alleged perpetrator. To arrest, the officer has to have probable cause to believe that a crime occurred. From the facts described above, there was clearly probable cause to arrest.

Like a police officer, a prosecutor also has the discretion of whether or not to pursue a charge in court. They can decide to drop a charge at the request of an alleged victim, but they don't have to. I've seen some cases where a victim begged and pleaded with the prosecutor to not go forward with a trial, but the prosecutor did it anyway. In reality, good prosecutors listen to the victims of crime, and often abide by their wishes, but not always.

The whole concept of people "dropping charges" after the police and/or the prosecutor is involved is a myth that is perpetrated on TV. That's not how it works in real life.

Q) They said I could talk to the judge, how do I do that?

At some point you will have an opportunity to testify as a witness, or perhaps make a victim impact statement to a judge. This assumes that a trial goes forward.

I think what you want to do is talk to the prosecutor. They may not have any idea about the case until Tuesday at the earliest. So, some time this coming week, you could call the prosecutor's office and ask to speak to the person assigned to the case against your boyfriend. Express your concerns to him or her, including the issue about drinking, and see what they say.

Q) They said it was going to be "Domestic Disturbance"?

There are a variety of crimes that could be charged: battery for pushing you, ripping your shirt, etc.; property destruction for destroying your cell phone; abduction or kidnapping for trying to keep you from calling the police, etc.

You will be able to find out exactly what he's been charged with by calling the police station, the jail, and/or waiting until Tuesday when he's arraigned.

Q) He is being held without bond until he sees a judge on Tuesday.

If he was intoxicated, and the charges are numerous and/or serious, I'm not surprised in the slightest that he was denied bail and held in jail until a judge could consider bail.

Q) He never acts like this sober. Is there a way I will be able to tell them that?

Yes. Understand, though, that voluntary intoxication is generally not a defense to most crimes. It may help lessen the punishment if convicted. After all, most of us understand that people do things they would not normally do when "tanked up" as compared to when they're sober. But he probably cannot use "I was drunk out of my mind" as a defense to get him found not guilty at a trial.

As I stated above, you should first try talking to the prosecutor or the victim witness advocate for your jurisdiction. If you don't know how to get in touch with the latter, call the court or the prosecutor's office. They should be able to point you in the right direction.

I'm sorry you've had to go through this. Hopefully this is a one-time incident that's completely out of character for your BF, and one that will never happen again. Perhaps if he takes an anger management class, and/or gets evaluated and treated for drug or alcohol issues, his behavior will change and that will help him with getting out of these charges relatively unscathed.

I hope my response has been helpful. If you have follow-up questions or concerns on this topic, please ask. Otherwise, please rate my answer positively so that I can receive credit for my work. Doing so will NOT cost you any additional fee.

Take care,
Shuband
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


He has a record of previous DUI's when he was younger, but nothing that is domestic violence. I feel really terrible about calling the cops, but I didn't know another route to go. He is a full time hard working 28 year old with 2 jobs, and he is a full time student working on his second degree. I know this sounds like every other "battered" woman, but I know that he would never hurt me if he wasn't drunk. Is there anyway that them looking into his previous record and recognizing that he was drunk when this happened that he could get off the hook with just talking alcohol classes? Also how long will it be before the no contact order is lifted? Will this impact him on receiving future student loan money? I thought that "cops" were supposed to be helpful, and I call them for help and they end up ruining my life. Why don't I have a say in anything that is about me? If I really thought he would be abusive to me, I would not have been living with him for 2 years and being very close to him for more than half of my life. Aren't these details they should pay attention to? If he gets an attorney, is his fighting a case against me or the state?

Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the update. I'm glad to have been of help so far.

Q) Is there anyway that them looking into his previous record and recognizing that he was drunk when this happened that he could get off the hook with just talking alcohol classes?

Of course. This can be brought up in plea negotiations. It sounds like he has a lot going for him with school and employment.

But, the prosecutor will see your BF's record of the DUI offense. DUI is considered a serious alcohol related offense. That may give the prosecutor some concern about continued alcohol problems and how much of a deal, if any, the prosecutor should make in this case.

Q) Also how long will it be before the no contact order is lifted?

Judges routinely make a condition of a person's bond that the accused have no contact with any witnesses in the case. You are obviously one of those witnesses. So, it could be as long as until the trial is over.

If you have the opportunity to go to his bond or bail hearing, you could go and ask to be heard. The judge may or may not agree to listen to you. You could also try talking to the prosecutor and express your wish to not have a continued no contact order.

Q) Will this impact him on receiving future student loan money?

Probably not, although it depends on what, if anything, he is convicted of.

Q) I thought that "cops" were supposed to be helpful, and I call them for help and they end up ruining my life. Why don't I have a say in anything that is about me?

The police ARE there to help you, but maybe not in the way you would have liked help from them in this case. Police enforce the law. If they have probable cause to believe a crime has occurred, they have the option to arrest. Sometimes, domestic battery calls REQUIRE an arrest under state law. They may have had no choice.

Q) If I really thought he would be abusive to me, I would not have been living with him for 2 years and being very close to him for more than half of my life. Aren't these details they should pay attention to?

If by "they" you mean the cops, the answer is no. An officers' job is not to take into account every nuance and consideration about the alleged perpetrator, the victim, etc. Their job it to arrest people who have probably committed crimes. There was clearly probable cause to arrest, based on what you've said. A judge or jury will be able to take into account the things you're saying. But the cops won't, I'm sorry.

Q) If he gets an attorney, is his fighting a case against me or the state?

The state. A criminal case is always the state versus an accused. You are a witness to alleged crime. You won't be testifying "for" or "against" anyone. You just say the truth on the witness stand.

Thanks again for the opportunity to assist you. If you have follow-up questions or concerns on this topic, please ask. Otherwise, please rate my answer positively so that I can receive credit for my work. Doing so will NOT cost you any additional fee.

Take care,
Shuband
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I was able to find the prosecuting attorney's website with email. I think I will send him an email now, and follow up with a call on Tuesday. I am trying everything I can to stop this from going through. I would much rather prefer him to receive anger management classes or alcohol abuse classes rather than this. Thank you for all of your help.

Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
It sounds like you're on the right track already! I'm glad to have been helpful to you.

Take care,
Shuband
S. Huband, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1136
Experience: Experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
S. Huband, Esq. and 3 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,

I was notified that you rated the answer I gave positively, and I am very pleased and gratified that I was able to help you. I sincerely hope the matter(s) we discussed turn out well for you.

Please ask for me in the future if you have additional questions or concerns. Thank you very much for the opportunity to assist you.

Take care,
Shuband
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I got the no contact order lifted. He did get 2 class A misdemeanors for domestic battery and interference with reporting a crime. Are there anychances for the 2 misdemeanors to be dropped? Do you believe they will order classes for his drinking problem and anger management and make him replace the things that he broke? How do these cases usually turn out?

Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the update.

Q) Are there any chances for the 2 misdemeanors to be dropped?

Of course, but as I explained earlier, it is up to the prosecutor whether or not the charges will be taken to trial or dropped, or something in between. The prosecutor has (nearly) complete discretion to decide how to handle the cases.

Your desire for the charges to be dropped will have some bearing on the prosecutor's decision. In addition, your statement that the BF's behavior was not typical and only came about due to his intoxication may help, as well.

Q) Do you believe they will order classes for his drinking problem and anger management and make him replace the things that he broke?

Yes, I think this is a likely outcome. The classes and restitution could be the entire sanction, or it could be included part of a greater sentence.

Q) How do these cases usually turn out?

This is impossible to predict or to answer. The ultimate decision depends on a lot of factors: the prosecutor's view on the case, whether the accused (your BF) made any statement to the police, the facts of the case, the judge, the witnesses, whether it is a judge or jury trial, etc. Hopefully, the prosecutor will be reasonable and will accommodate your wishes.

I hope my response has been helpful. If you have follow-up questions or concerns on this topic, please ask. Otherwise, please rate my answer positively so that I can receive credit for my work. Doing so will NOT cost you any additional fee.

Take care,
Shuband

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