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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
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is a subpoena waiting to be served on me in reference to a

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is a subpoena waiting to be served on me in reference to a domestic violence charge against my fiancé. We had a disagreement. I started hitting him and he picked up the phone as to call the police. I thought he had. I began hitting him again when he hung up the phone and he grabbed me to stop me from hitting him. I called the police at that point because I thought he already had done called the police and I did not want to be arrested for hitting him. I embellished and put on quite a show. I also put in the police report that he put his hands on my throat. Because I was hysterical my neck was flushed. The police took pictures. He did put his hands on my throat, but I was able to talk and holler and there were no bruises on my throat whatsoever. In other words, he did not squeeze or suffocate me at that time as he is being charged - strangulation and suffocation.
The police also stated a knife had been involved which is untrue. They asked me about the knife and I said 'what knife'. Later I found out he had not called the police, he just wanted me to stop hitting him and that the reason for our disagreement was unfounded. It was all a huge misunderstanding and now he's being charged with a felony and two misdemeanors.
How should I handle this? Should I avoid the subpoena if possible and not show up for court? Should I hire a lawyer from my area who would know the court's and judge's idiosyncrasies who would maybe be able to advise me better about whether to avoid the subpoena and what to say on the stand? Should I go to court and testify? Should I invoke my 5th ammendment right so I can be granted immunity? If I do take the stand, should I say that I don't remember because I blacked out from alcohol? The police asked me if I had been drinking and I said I had. I also provided the 500 dollars in bail money to get him out of jail the next day. Can you give me some advice? I do know that many women do not wish to testify as I do not. However, he really isn't violent. We have cut out all drinking as well to prevent further misunderstandings which cause arguments and disagreements, because we love each other and never want something like this to happen again.
On the direction of someone from the court, the day after the incident and when bail was set, I spoke with a vicitm's witness advocate and said some incrimating things against him. Can that be used in court if I manage to avoid the subpoena? Or even if I do get on the stand?
Thank you.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am one of JustAnswer's attorneys. I'll be helping you resolve your matter today.

Unfortunately, the District Attorney will not just "drop" the case at this point. Once a charge relating to domestic violence is initiated, it is usually not dropped. Keep in mind, the DA is very well used to persons who file the report to backtracking and standing by the boyfriend's side, but the DA's job is to prosecute. Period.That doesn't mean that it is not possible to work it out. First, make an appointment with the DA and speak with him, explaining what happened and that it was all an overreaction. Sign an affidavit to that effect. Tell him that if on the stand, you will say what happened, but you will not be a "perfectly cooperative" witness for them.At the same time, initiate counseling between you and him. Let the DA know of this. The DA will see that it is not worth ruining people's lives over this, and might be agreeable to reducing the charges with the defense attorneyMeanwhile, the defense attorney should press the DA to either drop the charges, or to accept deferred adjudication (probation without a conviction), or another type of non-jail, non-conviction outcome. Deferred adjudication is a good option usually available for those who have little or no criminal record.Between speaking with the DA, initiating counseling, and the defense attorney's push to minimize/dismiss the charges, something should be worked out which is more or less in his favor.

Best of luck in your matter. I'm here if you need any more clarification or follow up info.

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