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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 110473
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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53 y. old female, Arkansas charged w/ assault on husband,

Customer Question

53 y. old female, Arkansas charged w/ assault on husband, probation violation, failed to appear-what is reasonable expectation of plea bargain mitigation of charges?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
There are many more factors that need to be examined to know what the DA will offer in a plea bargain. The prosecutor considers prior offenses, what the prior conviction leading to probation was for, whether or not there was any injury to the husband, whether or not there is a claim of self defense that could be raised, what the good cause reason was for her not appearing (if there was one), her entire prior criminal history and also any alcohol or drug abuse issues.
So you need to give us a much better picture for us to even tell you in general what a reasonable prosecutor will try to offer in the case.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
She was charged w/class d felony- ass. /family member, looking @ 90 days for guilty plea. She freaked out-failed to appear-
now charged w/ F.T.A. and probation violation no drugs-- no excuse, but considering- full jails/prison/female/age -what could she expect to be able to get dropped, lessened for plea on lessor charge. I am the original victim and have asked D.A for leniency
on original charge w/o positive response. Surely the state doesn't want an intelligent, non-druggy female in the system that badly.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Alcohol was a factor in original charge and previous domestic calls. She was violent w/ me -I refused to engage-always called 911-she was usually taken for disturbing peace,etc.-D.A. got fed up w this behavior and gave felony. We are divorced now-but she does not deserve excessive jail time -we both realize there will probably be some--Just want to mitigate it as much as possible-what would be a good plea? Thanks--I'm a professional Geologist-unemployed that's why I'm at this site.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Okay you are the complaining witness, since on a DV case the state is actually the victim. The request of the complaining witness depending on whether or not the DA believes there would be future DV incidents can go a long way. The probation violation is the biggest issue. Typically, if the complaining witness on a DV case does not want to pursue charges and asks to dismiss the original charges or states they will not testify, then this puts the DA on the ropes so to speak and they need to then have additional evidence they can use without the complaining witness testimony. Typically, the public defender in this case could get the DV likely dropped or reduced to a misdemeanor and the FTA dismissed.
Now the probation violation, this is where it gets tricky. If it is her first probation violation, then the chances are good the court will let her off with a warning or maybe 30 days or less in jail, but if she has had prior violations 60-90 days in jail is going to be likely just on the probation violation.
Overall, aside from the probation violation, which is the unpredictable factor, if you as complaining witness refuse to cooperate, it is possible that the DA would dismiss everything but the probation violation or she would end up with additional probation, fines and no jail time at the worst.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Should should she then request a JURY trial on the D/V, that would pressure the DA to drop, because I would not support the
state? Could I be compelled to testify ?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You can be threatened to testify, but bot***** *****ne is if you do not show up at court, they really will not do anything about it. The DA would be pressured to at least reduce the charge to a misdemeanor and offer no jail.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I really don't want to go to jail for contempt of court, though. Isn't that the states response to me not showing up as a witness?This is my final question----Thank you for your assistance- I won't take any more of your time
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Sometimes a prosecutor will be a jerk and will pursue a victim of domestic violence for contempt, but it is rare and it puts the prosecutor and court in a bad light pursuing a victim of domestic violence because they do not want to testify in the case. Yes, technically, it is contempt of court to not honor the subpoena and no lawyer can tell you not to appear, but it happens daily in courts all over the state and the prosecutor does not pursue the victims.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks--Sorry ONE LAST question--What is the efficacy of an "Alford plea" in this case- worth the risk?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Really an Alford plea still results in a conviction and potential jail sentence, it is just a plea made without her admitting guilt (sort of similar to a no contest plea) she is pleading guilty, just not saying she did it on the record.

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