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I filed a police report against my husband for domestic

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I filed a police...

I filed a police report against my husband for domestic abuse in New York State and I did not understand at the time that charges would be filed against him. The cop took a picture of my bruised eye and I did sign the form where he took the notes. They never told me that charges would be filed, I just wanted to report the incident. Now the police are set to arrest my husband tomorrow and I don’t want him arrested but understand it’s a ny state law. I have limited funds but really hope to either get the charges dropped or petition the da to drop all of this as I was not consciously struck and no crime was committed. How can I make this go away as quickly as possible? The police will be arresting him tomorrow I’m told.

Lawyer's Assistant: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?

New York

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

I have not but have done some online research

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Not that I can think of

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Criminal Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
1/9/2018
Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 6 months ago
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 31,385
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

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Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 6 months ago

You've found out the hard way, unfortunately that the police in New York do not have discretion to just defuse domestic violence incidents and call it a night. Once police get involved in a domestic matter, they must make an arrest and the case does not belong to you anymore. It belongs to the state prosecutor, who will go forward with the matter on behalf of you and all the people of the state.

So you need to contact the DA who is handling the case against your husband and let him or her know how you feel about the case and that you don't want to go forward. You don't need to file a petition. This can be done in a personal conversation on or before your husband's court date.

You are the alleged victim in this case, and without your cooperation and if there are no other witnesses, the state won't be able to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, the prosecutor should be willing to talk to you, because they will want your help.

You should try talking to the prosecutor in person, rather than over the phone so that the prosecutor can see your sincerity and ask you any follow-ups he thinks are necessary. You will need to convince him that you will not be at risk if he drops the charges. He has the complete discretion to drop the charges if he feels that it is the best way to go forward.

That said, in my experience, as a matter of office policy with DV cases, the prosecutor will probably tell you that the state can choose to go forward with this case whether you cooperate or not. He may tell you that if you refuse to cooperate and testify against the defendant, he can subpoena you , bring you into court in handcuffs, if necessary, put you on the stand and require you to testify. He can tell you that if you change your story, he can charge you with perjury. These facts are all perfectly true.

However, as I mentioned earlier in this answer, you are the state's key witness. The prosecutor needs you. So if you stick to your guns and tell the prosecutor that you want the charges dropped, most prosecutors will eventually opt to cut their losses, once they are sure that nobody is forcing you to drop the charges, and once they are sure that you are going to be safe. Most prosecutors do not like to spend time, energy and money going to trial with a reluctant complainant and a case they may, therefore, lose.

So if he won't agree to drop the charges, at that point you need to get a hold of the defense lawyer and let him know you've been trying to get the prosecutor to drop the charges but that he will not do it and ask him how you can help him to get the case dismissed.

In my experience, 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 almost always be worked out. If there are no serious injuries, for example, a plea to a disorderly conduct -- a violation and not a crime -- and anger management classes for the defendant can often be negotiated.

So, in short, the prosecutor is the only one who can drop or reduce this case, but the process starts with you letting him or her know that you don't want to go forward.

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Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 6 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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