Tuesday, May 29, 2018

There's A Reason Charges Are Laid In DV Situations Even if The Victim Won't Make A Complaint

I get a call today from a potential client regarding representation in a domestic violence matter.

Turns out the caller is the victim of the alleged dv'er calling and maintaining that it's all just a misunderstanding and she wants the no contact order entered by the judge lifted.

So I ask her what happened and she said the police came when they overheard her and her husband through her panic button and she hadn't called them but they came and took her husband away for no reason.

Yep, police take people away for no reason all the time.

Oh and the case has already been completed, he has already been convicted and sentenced, yet again (No, it's not his first time at this for those of you following along) for DV, and there's a no contact order in place and she wants to talk to him and see him again.

After all, according to her just because he was grabbing her by the throat at the time and smashing things doesn't mean he was being violent to her. She maintains that he's not violent to her . . . when he's not drinking.

This has according to her been going on now for about 20 years or more.

Oh and did I mention the caller is 70 years old?

This particular DV pattern has been going on for a long, long time.

I explain to her as gently as possible that trying to set aside a no contact order in such a situation would really not be in her best interests or her safety. Quite simply, I'm not going to do it for her.

She then says he just filed for divorce as someone told him if he files for a divorce then they're no longer married and he can be with her again and the no contact order disappears. I tell her that is really not how it works.

She's rather upset that he would divorce her and possibly get the house and such, after all he's only violent when he drinks and "they" just need to keep him away from alcohol - apparently, however, "they" haven't had much a successful track record in keeping him away from alcohol so far.

I tell her she needs a good divorce lawyer, and since I do not do divorce law I refer her on to some good ones. I also recommend she should probably go talk to a therapist about the situation as she does need help and she's not at fault for the situation. Hopefully some of that got through, but I'm just not overly optimistic.


Flugelman said...

You're a good man, Aaron. Some ambulance chasers would've jumped on that and milked it dry. BZ

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Aaron;

You are a good man, Like Flugelman said. Some people you can't help unless they want help and if she don't want help then she has to deal with the problems.

B said...

See, I am of the belief that if she won't press charges, then there should be no charges assessed by the government either.

Having said that, I am pleased to see you have the integrity to say no. Sadly, lots of attorneys do not.

Old NFO said...

Sadly, I'm betting she is going to end up dead.

Aaron said...

Flugelman: Thanks, I'm not taking her money for a very unlikely result (I can't see a judge ending a no-contact order under these circumstances and history) where if she gets what she wants she'll only end up worse off.

MrGarabaldi: Yep, at some point people need to seek help, I'd say the court is doing her a favor with the no-contact order to give her a chance to get out of that rather poisonous environment.

B: In some cases I agree with you that if neither side wants to prosecute it should be dropped.

Heck, its Domestic violence week here at the office for some reason, and I now have a case that likely should be dropped as even the lady is calling begging for a no-contact order to be lifted and says it was an argument that got out of hand on both sides and she didn't realize calling the police would mess everything up. Once you bring the police into the matter, they and the state gets a say in what occurs.

On the other hand, in situations like this one where its been going on this long and its not a mere argument that got out of hand but a long standing abusive pattern, its very appropriate that the State prosecutes as this is a crime but with a victim far too badly abused for too long to stand up for herself.

Old NFO: If she lets him back into her life, that's sadly a distinct possibility.