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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23194
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My husband and I had an argument on Friday night and I

Customer Question

My husband and I had an argument on Friday night and I called 9-1-1 while I was pretty upset. The cops took him to jail and I worked with the bail bond to get him a bail. I told the cops multiple times that I do not want him to go to jail and it is a dispute not violence.
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?
Customer: In California
JA: Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: I plan to do on Monday. We have a very good loving marriage of 20 years, and this is not a battery. I was moving away in anger and he tried to contain me.
JA: Is there anything else the Criminal Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: None
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Criminal Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.


I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. Are you online at this time?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
do you have any further questions for me?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.

Thank you.

No, I don't need any further information yet.

Please give me a few moments to compose an answer for you.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I would rather get the answer over chat
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.

There is no chat function any more. This is it. You've asked a question. I give you an answer. You respond if you need a follow up. I reply to that etc.

Please give me some moments to type out an answer.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Sure, I will wait for your answer
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Are you still getting the answer?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.

If you don't want to prosecute, you have to let the state know. They are entitled to press charges whether you like it or not, but your input is still important.

Start by contacting the police and telling them that you want to drop the charges. Tell them that you never wanted him to face criminal charges. If they haven't turned the case over to the prosecutor yet, they may let drop this.

If the police can no longer help because they have already involved the DA, you need to go to the prosecutor's office and speak to the one who is assigned to the case against your husband. Tell him/her that you already told the police you are not interested in prosecuting, and tell them why. Let the prosecutor know you want the case against your husband dismissed.

In my experience, the DA is going to be most concerned about your safety. And as a matter of national policy when it comes to domestic cases, the odds are close to 100% that the prosecutor will tell you that it's too late for you to drop and that once a domestic violence matter is filed with the court, it becomes the state's case and not yours any more. The state can choose to go forward with the case whether the original complainant cooperates or not.

He will also tell you that if you refuse to cooperate, he can subpoena you , bring you into court in handcuffs, if necessary, put you on the stand and require you to testify against your husband. These facts are all perfectly true.

Realistically speaking, however, unless there are other witnesses or medical evidence, prosecutors usually can't win their domestic violence case without the cooperation of their key witness -- who is in this case you. So if you stick to your guns and refuse to change your mind, and if you don't make yourself available to the prosecutor, most of them will eventually opt to cut their losses, once they are sure that nobody has forced you to drop the charges, and once they are sure that you are going to be safe.

To expedite the resolution of this case, you need to see to it that your husband is represented by counsel and talk to your husband's lawyer once he has one. You can let him or her know that you have been trying to drop charges but that the prosecutor won't let you and that you don't want to cooperate or go forward with the case. Ask for the lawyer's help with the prosecutor. His lawyer should be willing to talk to the prosecutor for you, as the lawyer and you want the same thing: for your husband's case to be dismissed.

Not always but usually, when the complainant and the defense lawyer join forces to double-team a prosecutor to convince him drop charges, something favorable to the defendant, even if it's not a direct dismissal, can be worked out. In part, this is often because the judge will get impatient and eventually get into the act and tell the prosecutor that he ought to resolve this and stop wasting the court's time with a case that is clearly going nowhere.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

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