Assault on a Family Member? Can't We Just Work This Out?

Assault on a Family Member? Can't We Just Work This Out?

The reality is that in 90% of the cases I see, the parties have long since made up and are back together by the time the case goes to trial. Oftentimes, the "victim" in the case wants nothing to do with it and simply wants the matter to be dropped. Unfortunately, the charges are not taken out by the victim, but rather by the Commonwealth, and so the victim has very little say about what happens with the case. This is a ridiculous condition, but it is a consistent reality in this field of criminal law.

That being said, there are a few good reasons that Commonwealth's Attorneys do not drop these kinds of charges at the victims request. Most obviously, they are concerned that the victim is requesting that the case be dropped because they are intimidated by the defendant. This sounds good in theory, but in my experience this is almost never the case. Far more common is the scenario where a couple argued and tempers escalated, one thing lead to another and one party (usually the female) called the police hoping that they would mediate the argument and then go about their business.

This is fine in theory, but in practice the officers have very little discretion when responding to a domestic call. With exceedingly rare exceptions (usually involving a senior police officer), when officers respond to a domestic call, someone is leaving in handcuffs. The idea is that the matter will be sorted out in court.

That is where an aggressive criminal lawyer comes in. Don't assume that because you are charged you need to take some kind of plea agreement. These cases can be fought, and can be won! You need an attorney who regularly practices in this unique field of law and knows what it takes to effectively attack the Commonwealth's case. A good lawyer will use the Commonwealth's own witnesses against them in a way that often means that the defendant never has to present a case at all, because the judge will throw out the charges after hearing the Commonwealth's case.

Give us a call if you are facing a charge of assault on a family member. We will sit down with you, and the family member at issue (if they are willing), to develop an effective strategy for beating your charge!

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