Ever since the days of the O.J. Simpson case, domestic violence penalties have become stiffer and the consequences more severe. We have posted here many such celebrity incidents. However, except for the high profile nature of celebrity defendants, many of the same issue, problems and consequences apply equally to the average citizen. Lets take a look at a few common issues:
The Recanting Victim.
The crucial point to realize about any domestic violence incident is that once the police are called to investigate, the matter becomes beyond the control of both the accused and the accuser. The police will investigate the matter, interview witnesses, obtain statements from the alleged victim and the accused, and use their own observations to determine what occurred. If they believe there exists sufficient probable cause that domestic violence occurred, they will arrest the accused and ultimately submit the case for prosecution.
There is frequently a misconception that the accuser can then just make the matter go away by contacting the police and request that charges are not pursued. However, that is not up to the accused. The police already believe that they have enough evidence to charge and the matter will be pursued by the prosecutor if they feel that in fact enough evidence exists. As noted in the recent example of National Hockey League defenseman Slava Voynov, there may then be a reluctance by the accuser to testify against the spouse, that will inevitably lead to pressure applied by the prosecutor and the court to do so.
Consequences & Penalties
A wide array of penalties and charges can result from a domestic violence charge. Important facts to consider are the nature and extent of the victims injuries; the prior record of the defendant; the cooperation or lack thereof of the accuser with the prosecution. Depending on such facts, penalties may include a jail or prison sentence; probation; anger management classes; community labor; stay away order from the accuser and a host of other serious consequences.
Working with a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been accused of domestic violence, contact a criminal defense attorney. These crimes carry serious consequences if you are convicted. A criminal defense attorney will help build your defense case to ensure protection from these consequences. They will be able to advise you on the legal system and provide premier criminal defense representation for you. At the Law Office of Peter Berlin we understand the difficulties that criminal charges can bring, and we know that without your freedom, nothing else matters.