What Is The Process After A Domestic Violence Arrest?
Procedurally, once you’re arrested in a domestic violence case, usually the police will not release you until you have been arraigned, meaning you have seen a magistrate or a judge and they have set a bond and bond conditions. Those conditions will usually include a no-contact order, maybe a drug or alcohol testing, something like that. After that, your case is going to be scheduled for a pretrial.
You’re going to try to get a lawyer. Ideally you would have a lawyer in place before the arraignment so that you can get the least restrictive bond conditions possible. In between the arraignment and the pretrial, a lawyer will gather the evidence, meaning any videotapes the police might have, any audiotapes, any police report, so that everything can be analyzed and reviewed before the pretrial. The pretrial is the first opportunity that your lawyer has to talk to the prosecutor and see whether there is any way to get the case dismissed or work out a favorable deal.
If you can’t work out a deal at the pretrial, then you can either set it for another pretrial if there is still more work you need to do about the motion to dismiss the case or gathering of further discovery or you set the case for a trial.
The final step is to have a trial where you fight the case in front of the judge or the jury. If you do work out a plea bargain, you plead guilty at a pretrial and then you come back another time for sentencing after you have been interviewed by the probation department and they look into your background and substance abuse history and the allegations of what occurred then and they make a recommendation to the judge as to what your punishment should be. That’s the process in a nutshell.
How Long Do Domestic Violence Cases Take to Develop?
It depends on the judge who is handling it. Some judges like to move things along really quickly. In fact, in the Novi District Court, there are a couple of judges there that will set these cases for trial within a few weeks of the incident; however, most of the time, it takes a couple of months from start to finish for one of these cases to go through and maybe a little bit longer if there is going to be a trial.
What Sort of Witnesses Are Used In a Domestic Violence Trial?
Usually in a trial, in your average case, you’re looking at the police officer who did the arrest, the alleged victim and sometimes the defendant will testify, sometimes he or she won’t testify and then occasionally there may be one or two other witnesses who will add to this circumstantial evidence of the defense or the prosecution, so your average case will run anywhere from two to five or six witnesses.
Can Photos Ever be Used as Evidence?
Absolutely! Photos are often evidence, especially when they show a red mark or a black eye or a bruise or some type of an injury, they are often used as evidence. A lot of times, the defense will use photographs of the scene as well because many times, the statement of the complaining witness describes a situation that really could not have occurred based upon the layout of the house or the apartment.
In other words, sometimes they are describing someone being chased or something going on where you could look at a photo and clearly tell there is not enough space for that to occur or you can look at a photo taken right at the scene and you can see that nothing is out of place, nothing is out of order and that conflicts with somebody describing a very crazy situation. Photos are used by the prosecution and the defense quite a bit.
Do a Lot of People Become Hesitant or Discouraged in a Domestic Violence Case?
Being in a court system can be overwhelming to a lot of people. One day they are living their life and everything is fine, and the next day they are arrested, put in jail, charged with domestic violence, ordered to not have any contact with their wife or girlfriend, forced to move out of their house and find another place to live! Then they have to hire a lawyer and deal with the court case, all the while carrying on with their normal day to day job and their life.
It can be very overwhelming for a lot of people and that’s part of the job. A lawyer has to make sure that the client understands that they can and will get through it and that it’s not going to destroy their life.
Does Social Media Ever Become a Problem?
Sometimes in the defense of our cases, social media can help us because you will see the victim who would act so devastated to the police at the time of the incident, then the day they’re out partying with their friends and smiling and having a very good time, so sometimes there is evidence that can be used to help the defense that we’ll find on social media. On the other hand, social media can certainly aggravate a situation if people start posting all their personal business on Facebook or some other place and start getting third parties chiming in with their opinion, it can certainly aggravate things.
For more information on Process After A Domestic Violence Arrest, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (248) 451-2200 today.