Washington, DC criminal defense lawyer Christopher J. Mutimer explains both the differences and similarities between a domestic violence case and other criminal assault cases.
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Specifically speaking, a domestic violence case and a regular criminal defense case are not that different. They’re the same elements of the crime, the government has to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt in the same way. However, domestic violence court is different. The attorneys are a lot more aggressive in this court, the whole system is set up in a way to protect the alleged victim. And these are also emotional cases, a lot of times you’re dealing with people or individuals who are married or family members who have been arrested for something. Sometimes they’re things that didn’t happen and an arrest was made as a result of two parties fighting and a neighbor called. Sometimes this happened just out of one of them being angry at the other and they called the police.
However, the government prosecutes these ruthlessly. As a result, what you should do if one of you or your family members or yourself have been arrested for domestic violence call an attorney immediately. Don’t speak with the police about this case, don’t speak to anyone else about this case, speak to an attorney. In Washington, DC when individuals are arrested for domestic violence and the officer finds that there’s probably cause to make the arrest DC statue requires that the individual be held. And they’ll be held overnight and brought over to DC Superior Court the following day. As a result, have your lawyer go and visit them. We’ll meet with them; we’ll find out what’s going on with the case and we’ll also let them know that we’re there to fight for them.
Finally, know that this is an aggressive courtroom. In this situation the government rarely offers deferred prosecution agreements and they are not easy to bring in any kind of diversion. Many times, you’re in a position where you need an attorney who’s going to fight for you and go to trial for you. So the first thing you need to do when you see a loved one or hear about a loved one get arrested for domestic violence case, call a lawyer, and call a lawyer who works in Washington, DC where they know the courts, they know the prosecutors and they know how things operate.