What Would Make The Prosecutor Drop A Domestic Violence Case?
If a prosecutor does not believe that they have a sufficient amount of evidence to prove their case, then they might dismiss it. For example, if the complaining witness in a domestic violence case is unwilling to testify or is otherwise uncooperative, then the prosecutor would have to decide whether or not they think they can prove the case without that witness. Ultimately, a prosecutor’s decision to pursue or dismiss a case will be determined by the strength or weakness of the evidence at their disposal.
Can I Be Arrested For Domestic Violence Even If I Was Only Defending Myself?
When responding to a domestic violence call, the police will almost always arrest the male and consider the female to be the victim. However, it is not uncommon for the complaining witness in these cases to be the aggressor and the person who has been charged to have only defended themselves, which is protected under the law. In order to avoid a domestic violence conviction, the facts will have to support the self-defense argument.
In a regular criminal trial, a defendant doesn’t have to prove anything; they can just sit there while the state carries the burden of proving them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. However, when asserting an affirmative defense such as self-defense in a domestic violence case, the burden shifts to the defendant to prove by preponderance of the evidence that they were justified in using the amount of force used in defending themselves. The defendant would have to be prepared to testify, but self-defense is definitely a viable defense in a domestic battery case.
How Does A Non-Domestic Conviction Impact My Domestic Violence Case?
Generally speaking, a judge will not know how many prior criminal convictions a defendant has, and a jury definitely would not know. If a prior criminal charge is an enhancing element to the current charge, I will usually ask for a bifurcated trial, which is a trial on the new substantive matter. For example, if someone could be charged with felony domestic violence as a result of having a prior misdemeanor domestic violence conviction, I would ask for a bifurcated trial, which means that the jury would have to make the determination of guilt or innocence on the new charge before they hear anything about the enhancing element, which is the prior conviction. Every case is supposed to succeed or fail based on its own facts and circumstances. When it comes to looking at criminal history, judges are supposed to be particularly neutral.
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