In New York, domestic violence is considered a serious crime, so much so that police are now required to make a mandatory arrest for any domestic violence call if they have probable cause to believe that violence has taken place. In these cases, an arrest will be made even if the accuser retracts their accusation. This is a good thing for vulnerable victims but it is unfortunate for someone who has been falsely accused.
Numerous studies now suggest that countless false domestic violence allegations are made each year. Unfortunately, many domestic violence accusations are made after an argument, with the accused standing to have their lives turned upside down. Still, the accused party must be arrested and go through the legal process. Consequently, New York domestic violence lawyers are always considering ways that the charges may be dismissed.
The Accuser Cannot Drop the Charges
Because it is a criminal offense, the state files domestic violence charges, and only the state can drop them. Although the accuser still plays a vital role in the case, he or she has no authority to get the charges dropped or dismissed once they have been filed.
In What Cases Can Domestic Violence Charges Be Dismissed?
While a New York criminal defense lawyer will always focus on the best defense strategy possible for their client, getting the case dismissed will spare the accused from having to go to trial at all. There are some common factors that raise doubts in an accusation that a domestic violence attorney looks at when considering whether a case may be dismissed.
The Accuser Has a History of False Accusations
While domestic violence is a criminal charge that should always be taken seriously, in some cases, an accuser has a history of making accusations in the heat of the moment that are proven to be false or that they later admit were false. A good domestic violence lawyer will investigate whether the accuser has a history of false allegations and bring that to the prosecution’s attention.
There is a Lack of Evidence
To prosecute a criminal domestic violence case, there is a high standard for proof. Evidence must be consistent with statements and witness statements must be consistent with each other. Claims need to be supported with evidence such as photos, medical records, a 911 call, witness accounts, etc.
If the accused reported an assault, the prosecution must have evidence to corroborate the accuser’s story. Sometimes, there is not enough evidence to prove the defendant’s guilt or the evidence does not confirm the accuser’s story. In this case, the prosecution may dismiss the charges.
The Accuser is Not Cooperating With the Prosecution
In some cases, the accuser stops cooperating with the prosecutor. If the accuser declines to submit to a witness interview or doesn’t show up for court, the prosecution may be forced to dismiss the case.
The Accuser Recants Their Story
Although an accuser can’t drop the charges, they can recant their statement. This means that the victim has admitted that they were lying. Although the state may still prosecute, if there is no other supporting evidence of a crime, a prosecutor may decide to dismiss.
What is the Usual Ending for a Domestic Violence Case?
Domestic violence cases are not guaranteed to end in a certain way. It all depends on the circumstances and any aggravating circumstances. It is important to remember that domestic violence cases rarely end in a trial.
It is unlikely that you will be tried if this is your first accusation of domestic violence or, even better if it is your first contact with the legal system. This can complicate things. Your attorney will try to reach a plea deal with the attorney representing your opposition.
Pleading guilty to the court so that the situation can be resolved may seem like the easiest option. Even though the case may not be straightforward, this is not always a good idea. Your opposition may use your plea to deny you basic rights in the near future, including access to your children and the ability to obtain affordable housing.
Your attorney can provide advice that is tailored to your case and your particular circumstances in all cases. Your attorney’s advice will be more precise and specific to your case.
Getting Skilled Representation
While every domestic violence case is different, a skilled criminal defense lawyer has seen it all and knows what to look for to help get a case dismissed or to build a solid defense. If you have been charged with domestic violence, contact the offices of Jason Bassett Criminal Lawyer. As a former prosecutor, he understands criminal law from both the defense and prosecution sides. Contact him for a free consultation.