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Barrister
Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33803
Experience:  15 years practicing criminal defense.
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My fiance is also an attorney, we had an argument a few weeks

Customer Question

My fiance is also an attorney, we had an argument a few weeks ago and I ended up moving out. After I moved out I went to the police and filed a report. He is charged with disorderly conduct and damage to property, both of these are enhanced with domestic abuse. He has his first hearing tomorrow which his attorney will be going to and so will I in order to ask the judge not to put a no contact order on us ( we have a 12 month old). I want to try and get the da to drop the charges, but he won't return my calls. Are these serious charges? My biggest concern is that he has to report any criminal charges to the state bar and this will affect his career. What would happen to me if I told the da I was not willing to cooperate?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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Were the charges actually listed as being connected to domestic abuse?
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I tried to send a screen shot of his charges. 1) Disorderly Conduct enhanced or modified with domestic abuse. 2) Criminal damage to property enhanced withe domestic abuse. He punched the hood of my car.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, the charges were connected to domestic abuse. Will it look bad that I am bringing our kids? 10 and 1 year old? Since he is familiar with the county he was charges in, they have referred his case to a different county. Although, the judge we are seeing tomorrow knows him and our kids.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Ok, since the charges are enhanced with the domestic violence notation, these can be serious charges if they are prosecuted as such. They can lead to a loss of his right to own firearms and could result in sanctions from the Bar if convicted.
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As for you wanting to drop the charges, what many people in situations like this don't realize is that once someone is arrested and charged with a crime, the case is then between the defendant and the state. The victim in the situation will just be a witness for the prosecution when they move forward to try to prove their case.
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The person who called the police has no authority to "drop the charges" after the police have charged someone after a crime has occurred. The District Attorney files the charges against the defendant and only he can modify or drop them.
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You can refuse to help the prosecutor and not testify, but if there is other evidence like photos, police testimony or witnesses, then while it will make their case a more difficult, they can still proceed.
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But if there were no injuries and no witnesses, then essentially if you refuse to testify the prosecutor will have to go off the police phone call, any report, and any officer testimony about what they saw at the scene.
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The prosecutor can try to scare you by saying they will file charges for filing a false police report, but if you simply remain silent and do not say anything, they can't prove it was a false report either.
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So if you don't want to testify, you can just show up and say you are "pleading the 5th" and are asserting your right to remain silent.
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But in my experience, if he doesn't have any similar convictions on his record, then as the case moves along, the DA will likely reduce the charges to something like straight disorderly conduct and property damage and if convicted or he pleads out, it would result in some type of probation, restitution for any damage and maybe some anger management classes.
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As for bringing the children, typically a judge won't allow them in the courtroom with a dispute regarding the parents as they don't want to subject the children to seeing that.
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you saying if I tell them I'm pleading the 5th the judge will not make me answer? They have pictures of bruises and a statement saying he pushed me and punched my car and pictures of my car. I pretty sure we will be taking this to trial, because we don't want any charges on his record. Do you have any pointers for trying to talk to the da tomorrow morning?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He has no prior convictions...not even a speeding ticket
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Are you saying if I tell them I'm pleading the 5th the judge will not make me answer?
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If you are taking the 5th because you are concerned about making a statement that may incriminate yourself, for example, if you pushed him first, then you can refuse to testify and exercise your right to remain silent.
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They have pictures of bruises and a statement saying he pushed me and punched my car and pictures of my car. I pretty sure we will be taking this to trial, because we don't want any charges on his record. Do you have any pointers for trying to talk to the da tomorrow morning?
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To be honest, that type of evidence doesn't bode well for him even if you don't testify. But his attorney might be able to get this amended down to drop the domestic violence aspect and then possibly even get the charges into a "diversion program", due to his lack of any prior offenses where he does some community service, pays any damages, and is on probation for a period of time. If he successfully completes the diversion program, the charges are dismissed.
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But as for you talking to the DA, don't be surprised if they won't speak with you until the case moves further along. They typically won't even talk to a witness until it is clear that the case can't be resolved without going to trial or with a plea.
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When the DA does contact you, you can simply make it clear that you will be taking the 5th due to a desire not to make any statements that could possibly incriminate yourself. Once they realize that they have an uncooperative witness, they may decide to cut him a deal just to get rid of the case.
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thanks
Barrister

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