Can a Domestic Violence Victim Drop Charges?

You are a battered wife. Once again, your husband is punching and physically harming you. Your friend, who lives next door, contacted the police who arrived just in time to stop the beating. They then charge your spouse with domestic violence.

You find yourself in a chaotic situation. Surely, you don’t want your husband to abuse you, but neither do you want him to get entangled in legal imbroglio. A lot of women in your same situation, sadly, feel the responsibility to protect their abuser: their own husband. Suddenly, they want the charges against their husband dropped.

The question is, can a victim of domestic violence drop the charges? NO, the victim cannot drop the charges.

 

Why a Domestic Violence Victim Cannot Drop the Charges

Once a domestic violence charge has been issued by the office of the state prosecutor or the police, there is no way that the victim can drop the charges. This is because domestic violence is categorized as a crime.

Many people misunderstand the process behind the filing of criminal charges. The state governs and issues criminal charges and not the victim. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you have no authority to drop the charges, which you did not issue, in the first place. It is up to the state, specifically the Prosecutor’s Office, to decide whether or not to proceed with the case. However, as the victim, you have a significant role in the proceedings.

 

The Role of the Victim in a Domestic Violence Case

As the victim, the court may require you to testify against the accused, in case there is a trial. You may also be brought in to air your opinion. Some states allow the victim to refuse to testify in court, although the refusal may come with penalties.

When coming up with a decision to release the accused, the judge may invite you, as the victim, to express your opinion on whether or not you agree with the decision to release, and why.

The victim’s role is not limited to being passive, however. It is not confined to just testifying or giving your opinions in court. Although you cannot file a criminal case, you have the right to file a civil case. This way, you can claim compensation for the personal injuries you sustained, psychological injuries, lost wages, as well as cost of living.

You likewise have protection options. You can request for a restraining order against the accused. A restraining order can help guaranty your safety. For one, there are restraining orders that will require the subject to surrender his guns while the restraining order is in effect.

Depending on the state, you may be allowed to have an early release from your current lease. This option can prove to be helpful if you fear that your spouse may harm you again after being released. This will allow you to find a new place to live in, separate from your spouse.

 

Recanting a Victim’s Statement

Although domestic violence victims can’t drop the criminal charges against their abusers, many victims opt to recant the statements they issued to investigators and police officers. Some battered wives do it in hopes of having the charges against their spouses dropped.

However, recanting will not affect the state’s decision on whether to proceed or drop the case. The case can still be prosecuted using other evidences including police reports and photographs.

 

The court takes cases of domestic violence seriously. Thus, dropping a charge is not easy, most especially when children are involved. If you need more information about about getting a restraining order or domestic violence charges, contact the Law Offices of Gary L. Rohlwing.

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Arizona’s Catch – All Aggravating Circumstance

A.R.S. § 13-701(D)(26) is a catch-all for the prosecutor to use at sentencing if other aggravating circumstances don’t apply:

“ 26. Any other factor that the state alleges is relevant to the defendant’s character or background or to the nature or circumstances of the crime.” You can find the original document at https://www.azleg.gov/ars/13/00701.htm

The Supreme Court of Arizona has held that an aggravated sentence based solely on the catch-all aggravator violates due process because that aggravator is “patently vague.” See State v. Schmidt, 220 Ariz. 563, 566 ¶¶ 9-10 (2009).

The Arizona Court of Appeals has found that the following are appropriate aggravating circumstances under the catch-all:

  • Defendant’s misconduct that rises to a level beyond that which is merely necessary to establish an element of the underlying crime. State v. Tinajero, 188 Ariz. 350, 357 (Ariz. App. 1997),
  • Defendant’s prior conduct that didn’t result in a conviction. State v. Shattuck, 140 Ariz. 582, 583 (1984).
  • Society’s need for deterrence is a proper aggravating factor. See State v. LeMaster, 17 Ariz. 159, 166 (Ariz. App. 1983).
  • Defendant is a danger to society. See State v. Wideman, 165 Ariz. 364, 369 (Ariz. App. 1990).
  • Defendant’s single act created multiple victims. State v. Tschilar, 200 Ariz. 427 (Ariz. App. 2001).
  • Defendant’s attempt to cover up the crime and not seek help for the victim. See State v. Jenkins, 193 Ariz. 115 (Ariz. App. 1998).
  • Defendant’s lengthy criminal history. See State v. Fristoe, 135 Ariz. 25 (Ariz. App. 1982).
  • Defendant was previously on probation, violated probation, or was on probation at the time of the crime is an appropriate aggravator. See State v. Winans, 124 Ariz. 502 (Ariz. App. 1979); State v. Ritacca, 169 Ariz. 401 (Ariz. App. 1991).
  • Defendant was previously imprisoned. See State v. Soto-Perez, 192 Ariz. 566 (Ariz. App. 1998).

The Court of Appeals has also found that a defendant’s lack of remorse is not a proper aggravating circumstance. See State v. Tinajero, 188 Ariz. 350, 357 (App. 1997). Moreover, a defendant’s prior exemplary life is not a proper aggravating circumstance. See State v. Just, 138 Ariz. 534, 551 (Ariz. App. 1983).

If you are charged with a felony, the prosecutor will most likely use the catch-all aggravator to aggravate your sentence. Don’t fight the prosecutor alone. You need an experienced defense attorney to fight for you and help you with your felony defense. Attorney Gary Rohlwing has over three decades of experience. Call him today for a free consultation.

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Impact of a Domestic Violence Charge: Why Hire an Experienced Lawyer

A domestic violence (DV) charge should not be taken lightly. It is a serious charge with potential long-term repercussions on your rights and freedom. If you are charged with domestic violence, you should immediately consult with an experienced domestic violence lawyer. The Law Offices of Gary L. Rohlwing can help protect your rights.

Following are the various negative effects of domestic violence on various aspects of your life, if convicted.

 

Consequences on Your Employment

Getting a domestic violence conviction may cause you to lose your present job or make it difficult for you to find gainful employment. With today’s advanced technology, employers can easily verify the criminal records of potential and current employees. There are even websites that offer to provide criminal background checks within minutes at a very minimal cost.

Before making a decision to hire an applicant, most employers run a background check. When an employee is flagged for a domestic violence charge, it is generally considered an indication that the person is dangerous and prone to violence, whether at home or in the work place. As a result, the employee will not be offered a job.

Likewise, current employees who are convicted of a domestic violence crime may not be considered for promotion or stricken off the list of candidates – even if they have the necessary experience and skills for the job. In some cases, they may even be fired from their jobs – even if they have been with the company for a long time.

 

Consequences on Your Military Career

Once you are convicted for a domestic violence crime, you can kiss your military career goodbye. Aside from getting disqualified from serving in the military, a conviction will bar you from carrying a firearm or any kind of weapon. You will be discharged involuntarily from service, and if you are planning on entering the service, you will not be permitted to enlist. It may also affect your retirement benefits.

You will also be denied of a security clearance under Directive 5220.6 of the Defense Department. Your military pension will be stopped, if you are currently entitled to it. Thus, you must make sure to talk to your lawyer as soon as you are charged with domestic violence.

 

Consequences on Your Marriage and Child Custody

In many cases, a criminal conviction for domestic violence may spell the end of your marriage. Most couples involved in domestic violence ended up in divorce or separation. If you have children, you will likely lose in a custody battle, in case one will ensue. In almost all cases, custody is awarded to the victim spouse.

Because being a domestic violence victim becomes a big advantage not only in child custody cases, some scheming spouses use allegations of domestic violence against their partners to win custody of their children, gain a decided edge in divorce situations, as well as to hide adultery.

 

Consequences on Your Professional Licenses and Permits

Renewing or getting a new professional license may become difficult if you have a criminal domestic violence conviction. The same is true when getting a financial bond. This can be a big problem for professionals like lawyers, doctors, nurses, bond traders, stock brokers, and real estate agents, among others.

If your profession requires the use of explosives and weapons like guns and firearms, you can no longer effectively perform your duties because a conviction will disallow you from bearing arms. Under the law, a convicted domestic violence offender can’t possess, buy, acquire, or take possession of firearms, ammo, and other dangerous weapons.

If you are found guilty of violating this federal law, you will be meted with a mandatory sentence of at least 5 years in jail, in effect causing you to lose gainful employment. These include, police officers, fire officers, and other jobs that involve the use of firearms, weapons, guns, explosives, and other dangerous substances.

 

Domestic violence is a criminal offense, and should never be taken lightly. Bear in mind that once you are convicted, the repercussions on your future may be devastating and permanent.

If you need a domestic violence attorney, call the Law Offices of Gary L Rohlwing as soon as you are charged with a DV crime. We have the experience in handling various types of domestic violence cases.

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What to Do Following an Arizona Arrest

Innocent or guilty, you have the right to defend yourself after being arrested. Regardless of what charges you are facing, there are some steps you need to take both to defend your rights and to prevent your case from getting worse. You also need to understand your rights and responsibilities as a suspect, as your rights are only applicable if you actually use them! Here are the things you should do following an arrest in Glendale or Peoria, Arizona.

 

What is an Arrest and What It Means For You

An arrest is defined the act of a police officer to take a person into custody. While an arrest may culminate with the person going to jail, this is not always the case. Also, an arrest goes beyond just sending a suspect to prison. Sometimes, a person can be arrested for further questioning. There are 3 scenarios a person can be arrested for: if the officer sees someone in the act of committing a crime, the officer has reason to believe that a person has committed a crime, or a judge has issued an arrest warrant for whatever reason supported by probable cause.

  1. Never resist using force – Innocent or guilty, the first instinct of some people facing arrest is to resist. That is one of the worst things you can do if you’re being arrested, regardless if the arrest is legal or not. With some rare exceptions, one does not have the right to resist arrest. A person that uses force to resist arrest may become liable to other charges. If you feel that you are wrongfully arrested, the best place to defend yourself is in court. Hiring Gary Rohlwing attorney will help you get the best defense.
  2. You have the right to remain silent – This is the first part of the immortal Miranda rights. When you are being arrested, you have the right to remain silent. Of course, some policemen will attempt to get you to start talking, hoping to get something that can be used against you. The best way to go about this is to just stay quiet. Mention your name and some of your basic information to the police, but don’t give away everything else. While arrested, do not talk to the police, your family or friends, or other inmates about your case. This is where you want to only speak to your attorney and adhere to their guidance.
  3. Get legal assistance – The next step after an arrest is to talk to a lawyer. Anyone who is arrested has the right to hire an attorney for legal assistance. If you cannot afford to get a lawyer, a public defender will be assigned to you to handle your case. A lot of these public defenders are competent lawyers in their own right, but sometimes are relatively new to the legal system. However, should you have enough finances to hire your own private lawyer, it is best to hire an experienced lawyer like Gary to handle your defense. If you need the help of an experienced lawyer, call Gary Rohlwing Law Offices.
  4. Never waive your rights – No matter what, you should never waive your rights while you are under arrest. You will always have your opportunity to defend yourself on court.

 

The Law Offices of Gary Rohlwing can help if you get arrested in Phoenix. We have the expertise to help you understand your rights and provide you the best defense we can to help you obtain the best possible outcome.

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Importance of Hiring a Boating DUI Attorney

Driving under the influence (DUI)of alcohol and/or drugs has serious consequences. Because of the dangers the felony entails, such as damage to properties and lives of people, laws have been passed to ensure the safety of pedestrians, commuters and other drivers.

In the same light, boating under the influence (BUI) is also considered a criminal act. Driving a boat or watercraft of any sort under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is illegal and warrants punishment by law.These laws were enacted to thwart the rise in the number of incidents involving watercrafts, and to prevent harm that an intoxicated person may cause to others as well as to himself. Different states have different laws for DUI and BUI incidents. Since this is the case, penalties will differ from state to state.

Arrested For Boating While Under The Influence?

The law serves as the guiding principle in almost all aspects of people’s lives. Thus, knowledge of the law is very important. By knowing the law, you become aware of both your rights and responsibilities. At the very least, understanding the law would allow you to act accordingly and avoid situations which would lead to unwanted consequences.

However, not everyone is well-informed of the law and certain situations may occur, which may requirethe expertise of professionals. When faced with a criminal violation such as BUI, professional help is recommended, especially because the imposition of penalties differs according to the circumstances of the case. The help of an experienced and effective lawyer can help mitigate the unpleasant consequences of a BUI arrest.

 

Boating DUI Charges

A person suspected of boating under the influence (BUI) can be arrested by law enforcement officials such as the U.S. Coast Guard or local law enforcement. To determine the penalty to be imposed, as well as its gravity, the offender’s blood alcohol content level is usually checked. A blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% indicates intoxication, which is a criminal offense and could warrant arrest. Surrounding circumstances such as possible damages to property and/or people are also taken into account.

Penalties can range from fines to prison time, particularly if the BUI incident leads to injuries and death. Boat operator privileges can be revoked or suspended. Other consequences include rendering community service, and attending classes in boat safety and alcohol education. The gravity of criminal penalties will increase for subsequent convictions.

 

The Seriousness of an Arrest

An arrest is the act of detaining a person as part of the system of criminal justice. Getting arrested could mean serious consequences. Being arrested for BUI could imperil one’s legal freedom, finances, and reputation. It could have detrimental effects to a person, particularly in terms of employment. For a person whose livelihood depends on the operation and driving of boats, this can pose serious financial drawbacks. Aside from this, it can lead to possible problems in the future, especially if convicted. Criminal records can tarnish a person’s character or credibility and spending time in jail can affect almost all aspects of a person’s life.

If pulled over by law enforcement authorities, the boater must comply with the required tests such as those that measure blood alcohol content. If an arrest happens, cooperation with the authorities is important to avoid further complications. It is also vital to be aware of one’s rights. An arrested individual has the right to an attorney and generally, it is best to speak to a lawyer first before making statements because anything a person says can be used against him or her in court. To address concerns about the arrest, seeking legal advice can be very helpful, especially because the process can be intimidating and confusing. With the help of an attorney, you will be reminded of your rights and will be briefed on what and what not to do. An attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced on BUI incidents will be able to lessen the unfavorable consequences of a BUI arrest.

 

Free Consultation

An attorney experienced with boating under the influence (BUI) incidents can give light on the possible defenses to BUI. The Law Offices of Gary L. Rohlwing can provide the expertise needed to face BUI charges. Attorney Gary Rohlwing has over 30 years of experience in handling criminal cases. He is proficient and effective in terms of case-handling, and will certainly provide the most desirable result. Rest assured, all questions relevant to the case will be answered and all possible outcomes will be discussed comprehensively. As an experienced BUI lawyer, the Law Offices of Gary Rohlwing provides a free initial consultation, call us today.

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