Domestic Violence – Common Occurrences
Most Family Law Lawyers will, one day, receive this exact question from a potential Domestic Violence client: “What will happen to their Domestic Violence case if their wife calls the police, the prosecutor, or the court and advises them that they were angry at the time of the incident and made up the whole story?”
Well, as a Family Law attorney, my first response is that I would absolutely want to use such an admission that the allegations against my client were false so as to defend my client.
Unfortunately, altering or recanting of the original story will not result in the charges being dismissed. Instead, these sorts of efforts can constitute Contempt of Court or be viewed as a serious NEW crime. In worst case, both the original Domestic Violence defendant and the original witness (Domestic Violence victim) could be charged with multiple felonies for carrying out this type of plan.
If the alleged victim later recants their story on the basis that they intentionally provided false information to law enforcement they are, in fact, admitting that they are guilty of a separate crime of making a false statement to law enforcement. Making a false statement to law enforcement is, minimally, guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to thirty days in jail.
If that is not bad enough, if the alleged victim shows up in court and testifies that they are recanting their story, but their testimony is not considered credible by the prosecutor, they can also be charged with perjury. Perjury can be prosecuted as a felony and carry a penalty of up to 5-years imprisonment in state prison.
Furthermore, if there is evidence that the original Domestic Violence defendant and the alleged victim conspired together to present false testimony then they could be charged with Criminal Conspiracy. This is a felony that carries up to five years imprisonment.
It can go from bad to worse… If there is evidence that the Domestic Violence defendant urged the victim, or other witness, to come to court and change their story to a version not agreed upon by the prosecutor then they both could alone be charged with Solicitation to Commit a Felony. Like Criminal Conspiracy, this is a felony and punishable by up to five years imprisonment in state prison.
Upshot? Defending a Domestic Violence arrest is not as easy as just getting someone to change their story to make everything “go away.” State and County prosecutors and the courts are under a lot of societal pressure to take ALL Domestic Violence cases very seriously. If you study these trends as do those who defend people in Domestic Violence case, you will likely get a consences of opinion that this seemingly harsh trend can be traced back to the very public O.J. Simpson trial of 1993.
If you have been arrested for Domestic Violence and want to avoid a conviction it is important for you to consult with a Domestic Violence Defense Attorney as soon as possible. Contact an experienced attorney from Greenberg & Nguyen at (702) 666-0408 to schedule an appointment.
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