What If A Victim Changes Their Mind in a Domestic Violence Case?
Unfortunately, many people believe because their significant other changes their mind in a domestic violence case after they’ve been arrested and the person had to post a $50,000 and the other person gave a full statement to the police incriminating the defendant in the case.
They think now because their significant other has changed their mind and doesn’t want to prosecute it anymore that that’s the end of the case and they don’t have to worry about it. I’m here to tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Protecting Domestic Violence Victims
In fact, that is the usual case in domestic violence cases — that the victim in the case changes their mind and doesn’t want the person prosecuted anymore. The prosecutors don’t look at it from that perspective.
They’re looking at it from a perspective of protecting victims of crime and particularly in domestic violence cases, prosecutors are very concerned about helping the victim and they realize that this whole domestic violence syndrome is a real thing.
People who are beaten and attacked don’t want their significant other prosecuted because maybe that person is the bread winner in the house, maybe they’re scared of the person, maybe they love the person, whatever the case may be.
So, this is not really a big factor for prosecutors in deciding whether to prosecute a case. They’re going to look whether they have a strong case or not. If they’ve got a strong case and they feel that they have a real victim and that the person involved has done something wrong they’re going to prosecute him regardless of what the victim says and they will force the victim to testify against the person.
They will subpoena them. They will arrest the person and make them testify, and if the person tries to say something different from what they originally said — tries to say things that just simply aren’t true in order to help the other person, they will use the police to come and have the police testify to what they originally said.
They’ll use the police officer’s bodycam evidence if there’s any available to show the original statement. They’ll use photographs. They’ll use the 9-1-1 tape to show what happened. All this is an attempt to proved their case. See CAMCRIM 840 – domestic battery and CALCRIM 852a – evidence of uncharged domestic violence.
Victim Changing Their Mind Won’t Stop Domestic Violence Charges
They’re not messing around. They’re going to file a case regardless of whether the victim wants the person prosecuted or not. The fact that the victim changed their mind is something that the prosecutors — believe it or not — view as normal domestic violence syndrome behavior.
So, they believe that the person that is saying that they don’t want the other party prosecuted is truly a victim of domestic violence, and that person needs protecting above other people who are out for blood and want the person prosecuted. If you can believe that, that’s how they view the case.
So, the fact that the person doesn’t want you prosecuted has very little meaning to the prosecutors. Now, that may cause the prosecutors some problems in prosecuting their case, and that particular fact may inure to your benefit because the prosecutors are unable to prosecute you because the person won’t cooperate in the case.
If they don’t have other evidence and they need the alleged victim’s testimony and the alleged victim is not cooperative, won’t come to court, whatever the case may be, that could create a problem for the prosecutors that might justify them lowering the offer or even dismissing the case if they feel they can’t prove it.
So, when you’re talking about a situation where you have somebody who changes their mind, your best bet is to get to a criminal defense attorney. Let that attorney help you make the decision on what the best avenue is to take.
That attorney will be able to advise you and be able to give you a pretty good idea of what you’re up against, whether or not the fact the person doesn’t want to cooperate could actually help you in the case, is going to have the opposite effect and be against you, or maybe it really isn’t going to make any difference at all.
So, get to a criminal defense attorney. I’ve been doing this for 25 years. I can help you. I’ve handled thousands of domestic violence cases over the years, and I know how to come up with a step-by-step strategy that’s designed specifically to help you in your case.
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