An accusation of domestic violence can cause significant disruption to your life even before your case goes to court. When speaking to your domestic assault defence lawyer about what to do next, you should consider when and why these cases may be dismissed and whether you could avoid going to trial altogether.
Grounds for Domestic Violence Charges Dismissal
The Crown prosecutor must establish your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in order to get a conviction for domestic assault. The case may be dismissed if the judge decides that the evidence against you isn’t strong enough to meet the threshold of reasonable doubt. For example, the case may be dismissed based on the following:
- Lack of evidence. The prosecution has the burden of providing photos, medical records, documentation of threats, witness testimony, and other credible evidence. Your lawyer must question whether the evidence submitted has been falsified, cannot be linked to you, or could be a result of something other than domestic assault.
- A history of false accusations. Accusers may make false accusations of domestic violence for a number of reasons. They may be hoping to ruin a partner’s reputation or gain custody of the children in future divorce proceedings. If your accuser has a history of false claims of domestic violence or has made untrue allegations against you or others in the past, their credibility as a witness could be called into question. A skilled lawyer can dismantle the accuser’s story and question whether the evidence corroborates their version of events.
- Police errors. Police officers must follow strict procedures to protect the accused’s rights while investigating an alleged victim’s claims. They cannot seize property that has no relevance to their investigation, intimidate witnesses, or fail to read you your rights upon arrest. They must also properly collect all the evidence, including evidence that supports your version of events. If law officers take evidence or testimony illegally, that evidence can be suppressed in court.
- Accuser misconduct. If both parties were involved in the physical altercation that led to the arrest, the alleged victim might claim domestic violence in order to hide their involvement. An accuser might also invoke their fifth amendment right against self-incrimination to avoid being charged as well. The accuser’s behavior and conduct should be scrutinized closely by your lawyer.
- Mistaken reports. Records from the day of the incident are vital to domestic violence cases. Evidence often includes the recorded call to 911 or the police, the crime report made at the scene, and the remarks made by both parties to law enforcement officers. There are many ways a 911 call may be questioned. For example, a neighbor calls the police because they heard loud noises from your home and suspected assault, but the cause was a falling bookcase. When police arrive, you and your partner are intoxicated and arguing, the TV is blaring, and the room is in disarray. Although the report was a misunderstanding, police can still arrest someone if anything in the home makes them suspect assault is imminent.
- Lack of cooperation. An accuser’s actions after the arrest can have an effect on the outcome of the case. For example, the prosecutor may advise the alleged victim to avoid contact with the defendant while the criminal process is ongoing and appear at trial to provide testimony. If the accuser refuses to cooperate with the investigation, the case may be dismissed.
You Need a Criminal Defence Lawyer to Protect Your Future
Your problems aren’t over once the charges against you are dismissed. A dropped or dismissed charge will still appear on your criminal record unless you apply for a record suspension or file destruction. Even without a conviction, dismissal of charges can devastate your personal life and future career options.
You will need an experienced criminal defence lawyer to challenge the evidence against you and do everything possible to avoid conviction and clear your record. Contact Kruse Law Firm today at 800-699-0806 to arrange your free case review.