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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27473
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I need to get more information on domestic abuse charge and

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I need to get more information on domestic abuse charge and the options we have since she called the cops drunk and wants no charges or penalties to come to me

Domestic violence cases have been in the limelight for many years now. Prosecutors used to be kinder with these kinds of cases, and police too for that matter. Once upon a time your wife could have called the police and when they showed up she could have just said said that she'd had too much to drink and changed her mind, and the police would have gone away without making an arrest. DAs used to be that way too. But that was years ago. Today judges and prosecutors are afraid to look too soft on domestic violence and let someone off the hook who for all they know will go back and blow their spouse or ex away. So she will really have to jump through some hoops to get it dropped regardless of what she feels, and it is not always possible. However, in my experience, I've found that the following can work. Here's what she ought to do:

Contact the Prosecutor's office and ask to speak to the the prosecutor assigned to the her case. Then plan on meeting with that prosecutor (in person rather than on the phone), so he can understand how serious she is about not pursuing the case. Tell him she has no fears for safety, doesn't need a protective order, and that the police blew this up out of all proportion (if that's true). Say that she'd like to drop the charges and work out your difficulties without court intervention.

The prosecutor is almost certain to tell her that he will not let her drop, that it's his case and not hers, and that he can subpoena her, drag her into the courtroom in cuffs and requireher to testify for the state at the defendant's trial. All of that is perfectly true.

However, while the prosecutor technically can go forward without her cooperation, unless there are witnesses, medical records or other evidence of violence, the state cannot generally win its case without the cooperation of the star witness -- your wife or girlfiend. And he's probably not going to be willing to invest a great deal of state funds in a trial that he'd be unlikely to win.

So he will keep the case open, at least until he's sure that you offer no real risk to her safety. Don't get depressed if she comes home from the prosecutor without getting what both of you want. Generally, as long as long as she doesn't change her mind, you'll start seeing some results and sooner rather than later, once you've got a lawyer.

At that point, she needs to let your lawyer know that she has been trying to drop charges but that the prosecutor won't allow it. She needs to ask for your lawyer's help. He will be happy to extend it because your lawyer wants what you and she both want -- for you to be able to walk away from these charges. Usually, when the state's star witness starts holding hands with the defense attorney and double-teams the prosecution, the judge eventually steps in and tells the state to consider dropping charges rather than continuing to waste the court's time on a case that looks like it's going nowhere. It may not always result in an outright dismissal, but if not the offer will usually be something very favorable to the defendant

Good luck!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

When to police came she told them that she had hit me several times prior (not full blown punching but slapping) and she had been drinking heavily. I hit her back, she said she wanted to calm down and we went to bed. I was woken up by the police handcuffing me. They said they had to take me to jail regardless and even after she started crying and pleading with them to not I was arrested and the court date was set for domestic abuse. She read the report the next morning and claimed that it had nothing in which she said reflected on the paperwork. It was very cut and dry and made me seem like a straight up abuser. The aggressor Alexander hit Jessica several times in the face and she has a visible black eye, cut cheek, and bloody nose. She said this was the first time this has ever happened and she now is in fear of him. After SHE bailed me out of jail and went to the jailhouse they still said she cant see me for 72 hours but let me go. Once again she wants nothing to happen to me and wishes that this will all go away. Unfortunately this is a crime against the state not her. I was also wondering, I have been overseas for the last 7 months and the night of my return this is all happened, between stress, anxiety of coming home and jetlag all fueled by alcohol will that help or hurt my case.


All you have basically told me here is exactly what I told you.

She called the police and made out a story that you were the aggressor and assaulted her. That's all the police need if they believe her, which they apparently did, in order to write you up and get charges pressed on her behald.

This is the state's case, which is why on the one hand, it doesn't matter what she wants. However, she should proceed along the lines of what I said above and work with your lawyer for a dismissal, if that's what she wants.

The fact that you've been overseas for 7 months wouldn't help you if you're going to use it as an excuse for being violent. Better to keep your mouth shut about that (except to your lawyer) and just let him work at getting these charges dismissed because the complainant doesn't want to go forward. The best defense to this that you have right now, is that the complainant was drunk, didn't realize what she was doing when she called the police and as soon as she sobered up took steps to try to get the charges dropped.
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