For law enforcement and prosecutors, tackling domestic violence is a major priority, and a real challenge, as a recent article in the Brownsville Herald explains. The prevalence of domestic violence is undoubtedly significant, with over 23,000 victims of family violence seeking shelter in 2014 and over 61,000 seeking advocacy and counseling. With statistics like these, there is little doubt about the seriousness of the problem.
One of the problems prosecutors report in domestic violence cases is that victims frequently want to change their stories. This is a well known phenomenon which often occurs when the victim becomes concerned that criminal charges could break up the relationship or the family, or leave the victim and any children without adequate financial support.
When a victim requests that prosecutors decline to charge the defendant, prosecutors don’t always honor that request. It really depends on the specific circumstances of the case and the policy under which prosecutors are working. In some cases, prosecutors are bound by an office policy which requires them to prosecute a case, as long as the case is viable. When charges aren’t viable, of course, early advocacy may be able to prevent a case from even going to trial when it really shouldn’t get that far.
No matter what the circumstances of the case are, though, those accused of domestic violence always have the right to their day in court, and should always work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to make sure their rights are protected. Domestic violence defense cases are not always easy present, so a strong advocate is indispensible.