Legal advice for each situation can only be obtained by consulting directly with an attorney. This information should not be considered legal advice for any individual and is meant for general informational purposes only.
1. Do I have to be married to be convicted of Domestic Violence?
2. What if l never hit anyone, all I did was push, shove or just slightly touch the other?
3. If the alleged “victim” refused to “press charges” would the case go away?
You can be found guilty of “Domestic Violence.
4. Should I talk with the police to tell them what really happened?
No. There is no such thing as having a victim “press charges”. The alleged “victim” can not control the prosecution of these cases.
The prosecution of these cases is performed by the State Attorney’s Office, whether or not the victim wishes the matter to be prosecuted.
The victim may “recant” or change his or her testimony to be different from the story told to the police or 911 and a jury may or may not believe the recantation.
5. What happens to me if l am convicted of domestic violence?
The authorities either have enough evidence to charge you, without your statement, or they do not have enough evidence and they should not charge you. Your statement may not stop this prosecution. You might give additional evidence to be used against you. If the officer has sufficient evidence to arrest you, your “cooperation” may not stop that arrest.
If you talk with the police, you give them the opportunity to take down what you say incorrectly, or fail to take down everything you say. Either way, if you go to court, then it will be your word against the officer’s word.
Also, and this is important: you should not tell a false story to the police or prosecutor. You have a constitutional right to remain silent. Let your lawyer talk to the authorities on your behalf and be present if you feel, after consultation, giving a statement is in your best interest. Remember, the prosecutor has the burden of proving you guilty.
6. l am not a citizen of the United States, what effect will a conviction have on me?
Obviously there are a number of variables considering the severity of each case. If you are charged with a felony, you could be subject to state prison, or a lengthy county jail sentence. If convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, you may be subject to a county jail sentence and/or probation. Federal Law may prevent you from owning or possessing firearms if you are convicted of Domestic Violence.
7. How long will the court process take?
Although you should always confer with an immigration attorney, a conviction for this offense could result in potentially serious immigration problems. You could be denied admittance, be subject to deportation or suffer other immigration consequences if convicted of domestic violence.
However, if you make sure you tell me that you are not a U.S. Citizen, we may be able to resolve the problem in how we handle the case.
8. If I actually did the act I’m charged with, do I need a lawyer?
Each case is different, and the procedure for misdemeanors and felonies is different. You can expect a number of court appearances, many of which you may not need to be present for, if I represent you. You should expect that for most cases, it will take a number of months before there is a resolution. In some cases, you may wish to proceed to trial.
A well trained lawyer with experience in this area of the law can make a difference. A lawyer may get cases dismissed, reduced or help minimize the final results.