A common domestic violence situation may involve and injury as a result of an argument, and someone (you, family, friends, neighbor, etc.) called the police, as the criminal lawyers Elizabeth, NJ relies on from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. can attest. After the police arrive, they arrest the alleged offending party and charge them with domestic violence.
At this time you might feel confused and scared about what could happen. You don’t want to be the victim of domestic violence, but you also don’t want your significant other to face the legal repercussions as the Criminal Lawyers in Elizabeth NJ from Risopli & Borneo, P.C. understand.. You might feel the need to protect your significant other, regardless of what they are charged of doing. You may wonder whether or not you, as the victim, can have the charges dropped.
The short answer is no. In most states, once police or a prosecutor has issued a domestic violence charge, the victim cannot have them dropped. As criminal Lawyers in Elizabeth, NJ can explain, domestic violence is simply put, a crime. Crimes are not governed by the victim, but rather the state. You did not issue the charge; therefore, you cannot drop them. It will be up to the prosecutor to decide whether to proceed with the case or drop the charges. Although you have no control over the charges, you do have an important role in the proceedings. It can help to have a lawyer on your side who can guide you through this process and help you to get the desired outcome.
The Role of the Victim
As the victim in a domestic violence case, you may have many roles to play. For instance, if the case goes to trial you may be asked to testify against Elizabeth, NJ criminal lawyers. In some states, you can refuse to do so, but this should only be considered after talking with a lawyer. You might also be required to retrieve documents or evidence, or appear in court. A victim might also be asked to explain their view or opinion of the situation, this is especially common when the judge is considering whether or not to release the defendant.
Victims also have the right file a civil suit against the defender. This means if the situation caused you financial losses related to medical expenses, lost wages, or psychological injuries you could seek reimbursement.
Victims can ask the judge for a restraining order against the defendant. These help to protect your safety and could order the defendant to give up any weapons for the duration of the order. You might also be able to legally break your lease agreement without encountering any penalties.
Retracting Your Statement
Although a victim cannot order the domestic violence charges to be dropped, you might want to retract your statement that was said to police or investigator, as criminal Lawyers in Elizabeth, NJ may recommend. Retracting, also known as recanting, means that you take back your original statement. In general it is not a good idea to do this unless you lied about what happened. Retracting a statement does not necessarily mean the state will drop the charges, since it can still assess police reports, photographs, medical records, witness testimony, and other evidence to determine whether or not domestic violence is actually going on. If you are found to have lied to authorities, you could also be charged for falsifying information.
Do You Have Further Questions About Domestic Violence?
Whether you have been charged with domestic violence or are the victim and would like to know what options might be available for you or the defendant, you should consult the skilled and professional criminal lawyers Elizabeth, NJ trusts from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C., today.