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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 19675
Experience:  Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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I am currently facing a Domestic Violence charge in Oklahoma

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I am currently facing a Domestic Violence charge in Oklahoma County. Each lawyer i spoke to while searching for an affordable attorney said that it should get dismissed during pre-trial. The alleged victim is my wife, who has denied emphatically the details of the police report. She has tried writing to the D.A. to explain but as expected, they believe she is lying to protect me. My question is about something she told me later: The police had her sign some blank papers with carbon copies. She was pretty intoxicated (which she told the officers) but she remembered thinking it was strange that they were telling her to sign a blank page. Now we are both fairly certain it was supposed to be her verification of the officer's written statement. I believe that the officers intended to embellish their story and intentionally had my wife sign a blank form in order to write their own version of what happened. There were two officers present who both included the exact same inaccuracies in their statement. Both reports claim to have been the result of a dispatch to a domestic violence call. In reality they were responding to a neighbors alarm and happened across my wife who had gone next door to talk to the neighbor. I think the officer's collaborated some time after the fact and made up their version of what really happened. Obviously I am no lawyer and from what I have seen so far it seems like these semantic arguments carry no weight in an actual trial. But it seems to me that there should be some ethical issues with how their reports were created and filed. Do I have any legal grounds for requesting that these reports be excluded from the trial?

Thank you for the information and your question. If your attorney can establish through your wife's testimony and any physical evidence that the reports submitted by the police were not signed by your wife as agreeing to the facts, then yes, your attorney might have a successful motion to suppress the reports. Or, he or she, can just impeach the testimony of the police, who have to testify anyway since the police reports by themselves could not be introduced as evidence alone since the police are available. They can impeach based on your wife's testimony and, again, any other evidence the attorney has as to their inaccuracies or creation after the fact.

All that said, your attorney is in the best position to know what evidence the State has and how the court, or a jury, would find credible and a reliable witness. Those are relevant issues and I can't second guess their judgment. I can say that if there is testimony as to your wife's statements immediately after the alleged incident that you had attempted to strangle her and your wife is the only one who can rebut that testimony, then unless this neighbor is totally unbelievable as a witness, the court will likely give more weight to their statement then your wife's.

Ultimately though, this is your decision. If you plead not guilty, the State has to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. But, if you are convicted, of course there will be no chance at a deferral.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
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