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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27126
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I need help with domestic abuse disorderly conduct charges

Customer Question

I need help with domestic abuse disorderly conduct charges that are being unfairly charged against my husband and it is entirely my fault and I do not know what to do to help him at this point, we live in WI we were able to get the no contact order dropped
JA: Have you talked to a laywer yet?
Customer: we have a private lawyer but have not paid the retainer. we have been through this before i know what we are going through. I did not fill out a statement the police have no solid evidence to prosecute my husband at all i just made a mistake and need advicde
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?
Customer: we live in WI
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: /My husband was arrested on 9/8/2016 and taken in to custody for disorderly conduct domestic abuse because i was over reacting over an argument and called 911 but he did NOT physically harm me in any way at all
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The DA has dropped our no contact order but we need to have any pending charges dropped and I admit i was over reacting and should not have called 911 and need to know the best way to go about having any charges dismissed against my husband. I realize calling 911 is not to be ta***** *****ghtly and is not a joke. I suffer from extreme anxiety and was having a severe panick attack and unfortunately my husband happened to be the actual victim in this whole situation. When the police arrived I had already admitted I shoudlnt have called but they basically told us that they needed to arrest someone since theyh were called even though there was no conflict going on when they arrived. Since we have minor children in the houseohold they decided to take my husband to jail. He was calm, compliant, and non-combative during the entire situation. I , on the other hand was very erratic, crazy and probably should have been the one to be taken to jail as I was not following orders. But now my husband is paying for my crazy mistake. How can I help him?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 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 11 months ago.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

Thank you. Please give me a few moments to type an answer to your questioon.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

Once upon a time when the police came to the scene of a domestic disorder and the couple didn't wish to prosecute, the police could just calm the situation down and leave without making an arrest. For years now, because domestic violence has been in the public limelight, that is no longer the case. If the police are called to the scene, whatever their private feelings about the incident and despite the wishes of the people involved, someone will go to jail. Laws have eliminated police discretion in this area.

Worse yet, once the state gets involved, this case is not yours to drop. It belongs to the prosecutor who can choose to go forward whether you want to or not. That's the bad news.

The good news is that in most cases the prosecutor cannot win a domestic case without the cooperation of the victim, who is you. So the first thing you need to do is to make the prosecutor aware of the fact that there was no physical harm done by your husband, that you don't want to pursue the matter any more, and that you wish all charges dropped against him. If you can convince the DA that you are not at risk from your husband, he has the power to drop the case.

If the DA refuses to help you, one thing you can do is to contact your husband's lawyer and tell him that you've been trying to drop but the DA won't let you. Ask him what you can do to help. He can bring the fact that you don't want to go forward to the attention of the judge, who can put pressure on the DA to get rid of the case. That can be helpful. Even if it is not dismissed, the DA may make a very favorable disposition to your husband.

Another thing you can do is just to ignore the DA from there. He NEEDS you to make his case, so if you don't talk to him over the phone, don't cooperate by coming in or talking to him when he wants you to, sooner or later the case will probably have to be dismissed because the state doesn't have their chief witness -- YOU.

When I say this, I am not telling you that you should ignore a lawfully served subpoena. If you are personally served (not by mail, phone or email) but by a live person who hands you an order to appear, you have to honor that or face arrest. Then you could show up with a lawyer and simply refuse to testify against your husband. If you are never personally served, however, you are not risking contempt charges, and the case will eventually have to go away.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
What are your opinions on me writing a letter to the DA? I grew up in an extremely abusive home and I was also I am abusive relationship before I met my husband. I feel I sort of used calling the police as an "auto" defense mechanism from my past and my husband is now taking the brunt of it all. He never laid a hand on me. I was the one who was screaming and upset but since I am the mother of the children the police just decided to take my husband. The DA really has no case at all. I hate that we even would have to shell out the money for a lawyer. The paperwork hasn't even been filed if I can get a letter to the DA by Monday morning maybe he can just drop the charges before the court date is what we are hoping. He must already see that since he signed off on the no contact so fast. It is sad that police can't just diffuse a situation without making an arrest. It really does wreak havoc among families. I have extreme anxiety from my past and bless my husband for sticking with me for it.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

If you'd rather write a letter to the DA than talk to the DA in person, you can certainly do that. I suggest going to the DA in person because the DA can't ask questions of a letter, can't be sure of your sincerity, and may not e able to assess whether you are writing the letter of your own free will or that the defendant has forced you into it. But if you're more comfortable with the letter, write it and then follow up with a phone call.

Either way it comes down to what I said before, that you put the DA on notice that you don't want your husband prosecuted and that you don't wish to go forward. Then from there, you'd want to avoid the DA unless/until you're personally served with a subpoena to testify. Chances are the case won't get far enough for you to be subpoenaed.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I did already fill out forms at the victim witness office requesting the DA drop the charges. I'm not sure they allow me to meet with the DA in person I will have to check on that. We have Victim Witness advocates we have to work with instead so I will have to ask them. But I think my letter is pretty good. I've always been a better writer then speaker.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 months ago.

Fine. If the DA is already on notice, then just stop making yourself available in any way to the DA and ask your husband's lawyer what else you can do. So long as you are not cooperating in the prosecution, the case is heading for a probable dismissal.

I wish you the best of luck

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