Allegations of domestic violence can have a profound impact on many areas of your life. You may have to move out of your home temporarily and could have an uphill battle when seeking custody of your children. You could lose your job and face other consequences, like the loss of your legal right to own a firearm.
Pleading guilty to domestic violence charges will leave you at the mercy of the courts and restrained by a criminal record for the rest of your life. Trying to defend yourself against those pending charges can be a smart move, but it can be difficult to determine the best strategy.
If the other person involved in the incident wishes to recant their previous statement about what happened between the two of you or to clarify to the police or court authorities what really happened, can their statement prevent your prosecution?
Prosecutors build domestic violence cases without victims
The person affected by a criminal act typically plays an important role in the prosecution’s case. They report the matter to the police. They can identify the attacker who hurt them or talk about how the crime has affected their life during the trial.
However, victims often play a very minimal role in the prosecution of domestic violence cases. Prosecutors typically only pursue cases when they have enough evidence based on police reports, witness statements or hospital records to move forward with the case.
The frequency with which domestic violence victims recant means that the cooperation of the victim in your case will have very little impact on your defense strategy since their involvement in the prosecution will likely be minimal.
How the alleged victim’s support can help
While the other party can’t go to the police or prosecutor and convince them to drop the charges against you, they could potentially testify on your behalf in criminal court. Their statements could help you raise a reasonable doubt about whether there actually is an issue with violence in your relationship. If the other party supports you, you may have an easier time convincing jurors that the police misunderstood the situation.
Learning more about standard practices in domestic violence cases can help you fight back after your recent arrest.