is a label for a type of case, it is not, by itself, a criminal
charge. There must be an underlying charge. For example, the most
common charges in a Domestic Violence case are:
- Assault Family Violence
- Aggravated Assault
- Violation of Protective Order
- False Imprisonment
Of course, Domestic Violence can involve crimes as serious as murder.
However, the vast majority of Domestic Violence or “DV” cases involve
the misdemeanors listed above.
What classifies a case
as a DV case is an intimate relationship between the defendant and
the alleged victim. It can be either a present or former relationship.
At trial, the prosecutor must request that the case be designated
as a DV case - and then must elicit evidence that such a relationship
exists or existed in the past. If it is determined that it is “Domestic
Violence,” this acts as a sentence enhancer, possibly increasing
punishment now or at a future time. It may also add treatment terms
to probation such as a Batterers' Intervention Prevention Program.
A conviction for a Domestic Violence charge can also have enormous
career implications, as many industries and professions will not
employ those with a DV conviction.
There is a strong disposition
among most people, and most jurors, that we must crack down on Domestic
Violence. It has reached the point of hysteria in modern times.
Of course, violence of any kind is a serious social concern. The
problem is, it is such a hot-button, emotional issue at this point
that it creates a bias, and an anger - and a readiness to convict
- at the mere utterance of the phrase “Domestic Violence.”
Even if the alleged victim
comes forward and admits that he / she was never assaulted – she
is labeled a “recanting victim,” and the prosecutor will still try
to convict you. The prosecutor might call a “Domestic Violence Expert”
to take the stand and say that every alleged victim who now says
it didn’t happen is lying – that this is a typical part of the “cycle
of violence,” and that the victim is only trying to protect the
accused at trial.
And yet, nowhere in criminal law are there more false accusations
than in DV cases. One spouse gets angry at the other, feels powerless
and futile, and recognizes that there is power in picking up the
phone and dialing 911. A skilled trial attorney is able to:
----- Dispel the bias
and prejudice that potential jurors might have when they first arrive
for jury duty, making sure that they look fairly at ALL of the facts.
----- Point out the motives
of the false accuser, and the surrounding circumstances that created
enough anger to lie – in an attempt to use the Justice System to
assert personal control over the other.
----- Dispel the myth
that only men are violent at home.
----- Attack the faulty,
unsubstantiated claims of the “Domestic Violence Expert” that recanting
victims can’t be trusted because “this is part of the ‘cycle of
I have handled Domestic Violence cases just like yours. I have the
experience necessary to uncover the truth during trial, and protect
your criminal record, your reputation, and your freedom.
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