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Felony domestic battery

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  • Felony domestic battery

    Good evening, when I did the Citizen Police Academy we learned about victims services. When they talked about Domestic violence we learned that most of the time the States Attorney's office won't approve Felony Domestic Violence charges with out speaking to the victim. What are some of the reasons for this? And is this a common practice? Thanks.

  • #2
    Depends on the state....In Texas we arrest and file charges.....now, once the case is filed, the DA's office will reach out to the victim. Many times the victims do not wish to prosecute, sign a non-prosecution form, and the charges can be dropped...hard to prosecute when the victim doesn't wish to cooperate or testify. In Texas, the arrests are mandated you will make an arrest at the scene if there is any sign of domestic violence/assault..felony or misdemeanor, prosecution can have issues.

    There are times that the DA's office can still make the case without the victims testimony, if there are independent witnesses, 911 call records, or other evidence that can prove the case.
    Last edited by Kraut0783; 02-25-2021, 07:47 PM.

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    • #3
      Each state is different. Here we make the charges without consulting with the prosecutor's office (District Attorney). Once the subject is arrested and the prosecutor gets the case they then may add, drop or reduce charges. That's for domestic violence or any other case.

      As far as which cases get dropped or prosecuted is up to the DA. But someone from the DA's office will talk to the victim once they get the case and I'm sure it will play a role in how they proceed with it. We also don't need the victim's cooperation to arrest, charge or prosecute.

      Lack of cooperation from the victim does make it difficult sometimes.


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      • #4
        I'm sure it has changed a little since I retired so I can't say exactly what is going on now. Even so, a sister department was taking video of the family assault victim recount the incident just for this reason. As above, many family assault victims have reconciled with the abuser, are still living with the abuser and are too intimidated to prosecute or testify, or have moved on with their life without the abuser so it is difficult for the ADA to get a conviction.

        It breaks the hearts of those in the CJ system to see victims not follow through because we want to be the cavalry that rides and fixes things. When a victim fails to do their part with charges or not testifying, it causes us to lose faith in the system because we appear to be ineffective. We also think practically in that we see going through an entire family violence case with interviews, statements, crime scene technicians, going through the protective order process, the arrest of the suspect, transporting, report work, etc etc.

        But to answer the question, it is probably already answered above in that each state is different, each judicial district may be different and each DA and ADA may be different. There are just too many variables to be able to answer this question fully.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by westside popo View Post
          Each state is different. Here we make the charges without consulting with the prosecutor's office (District Attorney). Once the subject is arrested and the prosecutor gets the case they then may add, drop or reduce charges. That's for domestic violence or any other case.

          As far as which cases get dropped or prosecuted is up to the DA. But someone from the DA's office will talk to the victim once they get the case and I'm sure it will play a role in how they proceed with it. We also don't need the victim's cooperation to arrest, charge or prosecute.

          Lack of cooperation from the victim does make it difficult sometimes.

          This. If I had to guess, I'd say that the prosecutor wants to make sure that the victim will testify.

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          • #6
            This week a neighboring city had an event where BOTH the husband and wife were arrested during a domestic abuse call as per state law.

            Prosecutors chose NOT to file charges as they really couldn't identify the "aggressor "

            Wife moved into a motel & husband found her.......................................stabbed & slashed her throat . Stabbed the woman with her.

            Responding officer chased & shot husband

            Husband & wife both died................leaving 6 children
            Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

            My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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            • scotty_appleton814
              scotty_appleton814 commented
              Editing a comment
              Holy crap and I feel for those kids.

          • #7
            Yep. Colorado mandates arrest but tough to prosecute without the victim,
            "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

            "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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            • #8
              This PD is in the Chicago area FYI, any one from the Chicago metro area want to chime in?

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              • #9
                You are talking about Cook County, who's felony review process for person on person crimes is nothing short of a trial of the facts the night of the incident. And their investigators have to speak to victims and witnesses, even if I already have their statements on Camera. The rest of the state is not that way at all.

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