3 Legal Tactics Prosecutors Use In Domestic Violence Cases

Law Blog

An argument with your spouse or partner got out of hand and the police were called. You ended up being arrested and charged with domestic violence. 

What now? Well, you can certainly bet that the prosecutor will be looking to make headway in your case any way possible. There are some common tactics that prosecutors use in domestic violence cases that you should be aware of as soon as possible. Here are some things you can expect:

You'll be overcharged.

It isn't uncommon for prosecutors to charge a domestic violence case as a felony when it should be charged as a misdemeanor. This is called over-charging, and it's done deliberately as a prosecutorial tactic in order to intimidate you. Since a felony conviction brings automatic jail time, by the time the prosecutor throws the chance of a misdemeanor plea deal at a scared defendant, the defendant usually accepts the offer. 

Unfortunately, accepting the plea deal means an automatic police record and the possibility of a much more severe sentence if you're ever involved in an incident again.

Your calls will be monitored.

Jails routinely monitor the conversations that inmates have over the phone. In the majority of prisons, there are notices posted reminding inmates of this fact. Phone calls are also usually preceded by a brief recording reminding inmates that they're being recorded.

Despite these facts, inmates routinely gamble that the prosecutor will be too busy to bother listening to their conversations and they frequently lose that gamble. After being charged with a domestic violence incident, many defendants will try to plead with their accuser, asking them to recant their stories. The pleas are often emotional and might even be an appeal to reason if the defendant is falsely accused but the prosecutor can reframe your phone call to the alleged victim as "witness intimidation." That will bring additional charges against you and also work to convince the jury that you're guilty of the initial charges.

Evidence of the victim's abuse will be suppressed.

When the victim has a history of violence or a criminal record, it's not uncommon for the prosecutor to try to suppress that information from the jury on the basis that the victim's character isn't relevant. However, that virtually eliminates your ability to mount a case for self-defense. 

With a criminal defense lawyer's assistance, you can avoid falling victim to these particular traps or fight them via legal means in court. Contact a defense lawyer like those at Hart Law Group to learn more. 


16 July 2019

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