Domestic violence cases demand defendants work hard to show that they didn’t do what they were accused of. This isn’t always easy but it is better than the alternative of going to prison or facing other penalties without trying to battle against the charges.
One thing that might help is to understand a few basic points about domestic violence and how cases are handled. For example, many cases involve physical attacks, but there are other ways domestic violence can occur. Financial, sexual and emotional abuse are all possible.
When accusations are made
If you are accused of domestic violence, it is unlikely that you will be able to avoid arrest if there is reason to believe that you did abuse a family member. What you might not realize is that in three out of every five cases where an accusation is made, nobody is arrested. There are many reasons for this, but you must remember that police officers will investigate the situation and determine how to proceed.
Even if you are arrested, there is a chance that you might not face criminal charges. It is up to the prosecution to determine how to proceed with the case. Sometimes, they might opt not to move forward because the victim isn’t willing to cooperate. While they can prosecute victimless crimes, these are much more difficult.
The victim’s role
Many domestic violence cases hinge on the victim’s testimony. Defendants might believe that, if they can convince the victim to refuse to testify, they might not have to worry about charges. This isn’t what is likely to happen since the charges can move forward based on the evidence. This could include pictures of the injuries, medical records or other items.
Another consideration is that there might be a protective order that forbids the defendant from contacting the victim. If this is violated, the defendant can face more legal troubles so it isn’t worth the risk.
While it is true that the victim can refuse to offer a testimony or to cooperate with the case, they might get into trouble with the law if they don’t abide by subpoenas that are issued. If they are ordered to be in court for a hearing, they need to attend.
If you are facing a criminal case for domestic abuse in any form, you must work diligently on your defense from the time the charge is levied until the final outcome. Failing to do this can result in your having to deal with serious consequences that may have been avoided.