FAQ’s – Domestic Violence Charges

If you have been charged with domestic violence, you probably have a number of questions.  Likewise, if you have filed domestic violence charges or are the alleged victim in a domestic violence case, you probably have an equal number of question.

First, I would like to clarify the language used here.  Specifically, I use the term “alleged victim” instead of victim.  This is not intended to trivialize the seriousness of domestic abuse.  It simply reflects the presumption of innocence which means a defendant is presumably innocent until proven guilty.  Without delving into that issue, the presumption holds equally true in domestic violence settings.

Secondly, the “alleged victim” is often not a victim at all.  On occasion, the alleged victim was actually the aggressor and had the wits to call the police in what is akin to a preemptive strike.  In other cases, the alleged victim may not have intended for the defendant to be charged at all.  In some cases, the police were called in a misguided attempt to get a third party mediator involved in an argument.  This never works out as intended.  In still other situations, the police may have been called to the scene by a third party who has misconstrued or otherwise mischaracterized the situation.

These are only a  few common examples.  There may be other situations as well where the “alleged victim” is not a victim.  There may be situations where the “alleged victim” is a very real victim yet does not want to press charges.  Each of these situations lead to many questions from both the defendant and the alleged victim.

The answer to these questions is very important due to the seriousness of domestic violence to the victims of domestic violence, the alleged victims, the defendants, and the families.  It is very important to understand the process, the possible penalties, the collateral consequences of domestic violence, and the options available at each stage of the criminal process.

We have created this FAQ section to try to address the most common questions.  However, we will probably miss a few or even a lot of important questions.  If you have a question that is not answered here, feel free to contact us.  Keep in mind that if you have an attorney, including one of the many very able public defenders, you should discuss these questions with your attorney.  We do not get involved or otherwise interfere with an ongoing attorney client relationship.

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