Tucson Arizona Domestic Violence
The Consequences Can Be Severe
Individuals charged with domestic violence face serious consequences. A domestic violence conviction can have profound and life changing consequences on an accused. Those convicted will find that domestic violence convictions will affect their gun rights. A conviction often times has employment ramifications. Careers can be derailed and those seeking jobs may find it difficult to find employment. To be sure, I have heard from at least one human resource supervisor that a domestic violence conviction would be an immediate disqualification, at least for jobs he was responsible for filling. He explained that a domestic violence conviction would be viewed as meaning that the prospective employee has a history of violence, and his company simply could not risk the potential civil liability if that person was lose control in the work place.
If you have been charged with domestic violence you should seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
"It Was Just A Simple Dispute But I Was Charged With Domestic Violence"
It is not uncommon when a domestic dispute breaks out that one of the parties, or even a neighbor or concerned citizen calls the police believing they will simply "calm" the situation down. What most people do not want or intend is for one of the parties to go to jail. Unfortunately, when police respond to a domestic dispute, the result often times is that one of the parties in the dispute is charged with domestic violence and taken to jail. What most citizens do not understand is that the police methodology of "calming" a domestic disturbance is to charge at least one of the individuals with domestic violence and then to book them into jail. By booking at least one of the parties into jail the police are assured that the situation will not escalate into something more serious.
Once Charged Prosecutors Are Reluctant To Dismiss
Unfortunately, the solution can be heavy handed. Officers make decisions on who to arrest and what to charge upon information from parties who are upset. Understandably, the information is often biased or flat out wrong. Determining what really occurred can be difficult if not impossible. The problem is, when police are confronted with a domestic disturbance, they are trained to arrest and book in order to separate the parties until cooler heads prevail. This reasoning results in somebody getting charged, even when the information is sketchy.
While police may be concerned about assuring immediate safety, once the proverbial train has left the station, it is hard to stop. The bottom line is that once criminal charges have been filed, prosecutors are very reluctant to dismiss them. This is particularly true regarding the Pima County Attorney's Office. The reasons are multiple.
Tucson Pima County Prosecutors Lack Discretion
Prosecutors are reluctant to dismiss first and foremost because of the lack of discretion they have regarding these cases. In Pima County courts, policies are dictated by Barbara LaWall, the elected County Attorney along with her senior staff. Front line prosecutors risk discipline or losing their jobs if they deviate from her hard line policies.
"Victims" Change Their Story Once They Have Calmed Down
In addition to the lack of discretion of the assigned attorneys, these prosecutors also are told to rely primarily upon the reports generated by police. It is a "catch 22" for prosecutors. While it is true that many reports are suspect, it is also true that many individuals attempt to change their story after they have cooled down simply to help their loved ones avoid punishment.
The bottom line is that prosecutors have a difficult time determining whether the original report is a distortion, or whether the statements from victims and witnesses after the fact are inaccurate. When confronted with such a dilemma, prosecutors usually elect to rely upon the original reports. Unfortunately, this can lead to innocent individuals being charged and convicted of a domestic violence crime.
What If The Victim Desires The Charges To Be Dropped?
In the majority of cases, the answer is usually no. Although a victim is entitled under Arizona law to provide input to the prosecutor’s office on whether he or she wants the prosecution to go forward, the ultimate decision whether to prosecute the case rests in the hands of the prosecutor’s office. This is because the State of Arizona is the plaintiff in the case, and the victim is simply a witness for the plaintiff.