If you have been charged with domestic violence in the State of Nebraska, you are undoubtedly concerned about the accusations as well as the outcome of the case. Given the policies of many law enforcement agencies regarding domestic disturbance calls, it is not unusual for someone to end up in jail over what was really just a simple marital squabble. If that is what happened to you, and your spouse is willing to tell the police that, you may think your troubles are over. You may also be wondering why you would need a domestic violence defense attorney if your spouse wants to drop the charges. A better understanding of how the criminal justice system works, particularly where domestic violence cases are concerned, may help shed some light on your situation.
The Domestic Violence Story
Just a generation or two ago, both society and the law viewed the issue of domestic violence very differently. The reality is that both turned a blind eye to victims of domestic violence. Society considered it a taboo subject matter and the law considered it a “private family matter” unless a victim was seriously injured – and even then there was no guarantee that the abuser would be prosecuted. Thanks to a campaign waged by both private advocacy groups and public officials over the last several decades, however, the issue of domestic violence is now very much in the spotlight. In fact, domestic violence has become such a hot topic that many law enforcement agencies now have policies that practically require officers to arrest someone if they are called out to a domestic disturbance. If you happen to be that someone, you need to take the charges against you very seriously because a conviction for domestic violence can have far reaching and long lasting negative consequences that go beyond just the sentence handed down by the court.
Your Spouse Can’t “Drop the Charges”
The idea that the alleged victim in a domestic violence case has the authority and ability to “drop the charges” is something left over from the past when domestic violence cases were not taken very seriously. At that time, most law enforcement agencies and prosecuting attorneys were more than ready to get rid of a domestic violence case. As such, if the alleged victim recanted, or indicated that she (or he) did not want to pursue the case, the charges were dropped. One of the things that came out of the campaign against domestic violence, however, was a change in the way alleged victims were viewed. Knowing that an alleged victim often recants out of fear, most prosecuting attorneys developed policies that made it impossible for the alleged victim to determine how the case proceeds. Moreover, it is the State of Nebraska, not the alleged victim, that files charges against a defendant. Therefore, only the State of Nebraska has the authority to dismiss the charges.
How Can a Domestic Violence Attorney Help?
The good news is that it may still be possible to get the charges dismissed; however, your spouse does not have the ability to make that happen. An experienced Nebraska domestic violence defense attorney might though. Although you are likely under a court ordered no contact order, meaning you are not supposed to have any contact with the alleged victim, your attorney may be able to speak to him/her. If your spouse really does wish to recant, or clear things up, or otherwise make it difficult for the State to secure a conviction against you, your attorney may be able to get the prosecuting attorney to dismiss the charges against you. If that is not possible, the fact that the alleged victim has changed his/her story, or otherwise refuses to provide incriminating testimony at trial, certainly provides an excellent basis for your defense if the case ends up going to trial.
If you have been charged with domestic violence in the State of Nebraska it is certainly in your best interest to consult with an experienced Nebraska domestic violence defense attorney right away. In Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.