The Role Prosecutors Play in Cases of Domestic ViolenceFormer Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punched and knocked out his girlfriend Janay Palmer in a domestic violence dispute that shook the nation. Many also believe that the system failed Janay and many other women in similar situations when he did not receive a sentence of three to five years in prison like many other men in this position. Prosecution makes a decision based on what they see and how they can help those who have been hurt or injured. However, in this case, Ray Rice did not get exactly what anybody had bargained for. Domestic violence law is very complex and consists of many rules that punish those who have caused emotional and physical harm to others in a close relationship. If somebody faces criminal charges or a civil restraining order for domestic violence, it is taken very seriously and a violation of these could result in jail time. Indirect contact must be avoided including telephone calls, text messaging, email and social media contact, and that which is conducted through a third party.

Prosecution: Crimes of the Past

In many domestic violence cases, it is true that the prosecution will take into consideration what somebody has done criminally in the past before the domestic violence incident. If similar acts have been committed by this very same defendant in the past, then that will always be taken into consideration. They will typically decide that, even though he or she may not be guilty this time around, there is a good chance that they are because of the history behind it and that they deserve punishment. An example would be if somebody once punched, slapped, and choked a former girlfriend – the prosecution would be able to present this evidence if this same thing happened again under different circumstances.

What Are No-Drop Prosecution Policies?

These are policies that are put in place that require the state prosecutor to go forward with a domestic violence prosecution, regardless of whether or not the victim wants to continue with the process. Prosecutors will use evidence against the defendant like police testimony as well as statements made by the victim shortly after the attack took place. These policies may seem harsh; however, they are actually serving as a way to offer reliable protection for victims involved in extreme domestic violence disputes. Although it is true that prosecuting abusers may not always be the safest solution, it will send a clear message to a defendant that the crime will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

What are Some Common Issues Prosecutors Face in Domestic Violence Cases?

When dealing with domestic violence cases, prosecutors face two main issues: for one, many will fail to report domestic violence, and secondly, there is usually a reluctance to testify. Abuse victims will generally think that the domestic violence or abuse was an isolated act and it will never happen again. However, this just leaves the option open for further violence to occur. Victims will also usually refuse to testify against perpetrators because they believe it will start many more issues. The sad fact of the matter is that many prosecutors will have to drop certain cases because of these issues. Domestic violence is very serious and should be treated as such in any situation. This is why it is important to tackle this complex law with an attorney on your side. If you have become a victim of domestic violence, you should call The Law Office of Peter Blair to find out more on what you can do to help yourself and your case. Call today for more information.