Were you recently arrested and charged with domestic abuse against your spouse in the State of Tennessee? If so, you probably already realize you are facing some serious penalties if convicted. If your spouse has told you that he/she does not want to “press charges,” you may think you have nothing left to worry about though. Moreover, if your spouse wants to drop the charges, why would you need a La Vergne domestic abuse attorney? There are several reasons why you still need an attorney.
Understanding The Criminal Justice System
It may seem simple to you. If your spouse is the alleged victim in your arrest for domestic abuse, and your spouse wants to drop the charges, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about right? Wrong. That was the case once upon a time, a few decades ago; however, the criminal justice system no longer operates like that.
At one time, domestic violence was basically swept under the carpet by both the authorities and society. An arrest was only made when the results of domestic abuse were so severe that they could not be ignored. Even then, society largely turned the other cheek, preferring not to get involved. During the intervening decades, both public and private advocacy groups have waged a campaign to educate the public and the authorities about the subject of domestic violence. The result of those efforts has been a strengthening of the domestic violence laws in most states and new policies in many law enforcement agencies that effectively require an arrest when there is even an accusation of domestic abuse.
Once an arrest has been made, a report is given to the prosecuting attorney’s office. The prosecuting attorney decides whether or not to actually file charges. If charges are filed, however, only the prosecuting attorney can dismiss those charges. An alleged victim does not have the authority to decide not to press charges. Therefore, even if your spouse doesn’t want the State to prosecute you, the prosecution of your case will move forward unless the State decides to dismiss the charges against you.
Abiding by The Court’s Orders
When you attended your initial hearing in court, the judge likely entered a no contact order. As the name implies, this is a court order that forbids you from having any contact with the alleged victim in your case. Just because the alleged victim is your spouse does not change the order, nor your obligation to abide by the order. Therefore, you cannot go to the prosecuting attorney or the judge and tell them your spouse doesn’t want to press charges against you because you are not supposed to have any contact with him/her. No contact orders are intended both to protect an alleged victim from further abuse and to prevent the alleged abuser from threatening or coercing the victim into not testifying or retracting earlier statements. A violation of a no contact order, or any similar order, will likely result in a return to jail and additional charges being filed against you.
How Can a La Vergne Domestic Abuse Attorney Help You?
Hopefully you now realize that your spouse cannot simply drop the charges and everything will be forgotten. That does not mean, however, that the charges cannot be dismissed. Only that you may need the help of an experienced La Vergne domestic abuse attorney to make that happen. Although you may be under a court order forbidding you from contacting your spouse, your attorney may be able to talk to him/her. If your spouse indicates that no abuse occurred, or that he/she wants to work on the marriage, your attorney may be able to discuss dismissing the case with the prosecuting attorney based on your spouse’s position. Even if the prosecuting attorney refuses to dismiss the case, knowing that your spouse will be a less than willing witness for the State will help your defense.
If you have been charged with domestic abuse in the State of Tennessee, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced La Vergne domestic abuse attorney at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.
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