Possible Outcomes for Domestic Violence Defendants


Unfortunately, the world can be a cruel place, and often we have seen cases of domestic violence where victims have had their lives dramatically altered because of the actions of their partners. Domestic violence charges are serious and carry grave implications for offenders with hefty fines and tough times in the penal system. Everyone is due their fair process, and there are cases where domestic violence charges are dropped due to insufficient evidence or other outside factors. If someone is found charged with domestic violence, here is a small overview of the potential outcomes of the case.

Case Dismissal

If someone is charged with a domestic violence offense, there can be some possibility of the defendant not facing the full penalty. Cases where a defendant has a relatively clean background, with virtually no arrests, can find themselves in a situation where the case is dismissed, or if not outright dismissed, kept off their record. Not every domestic violence case will lead to trial, but that does not mean that there will be no negotiations between attorneys from each party involved.

Often cases are dismissed due to a lack of evidence and even the accuser having a history of false accusations. Do note that there are circumstances in which a third party could have been the root cause of a domestic violence charge, such as a bystander calling the police on a couple arguing. If the third-party misunderstood the citation at hand, this miscommunication could sometimes lead to domestic violence charges that will eventually be dismissed when proven that the couple in question proves domestic violence did not occur. Likewise, accusers who refuse to comply with authorities can also cause case dismissals, leading to a lack of evidence.

Going To Trial

While trials are a possibility, they are not an inevitability; that said, if a defendant finds themselves proceeding with a trial, this can make the situation a bit more complex. If, for whatever reason, the prosecution and defense attorneys can not reach an agreement or settlement outside of a court, a trial by jury or judge would be the next option. Trials can be long and drawn out, with ample opportunity for the defendant and prosecution to make their claims.

If the prosecution wins the case, the defendant can see themselves facing jail or prison and a fine, depending on the seriousness of the domestic assault. The penalties of a guilty verdict are also highly dependent on whether or not the defendant has had prior offenses or if this was their first offense. Guilty verdicts can also mean deportation if you are not a citizen, as well as loss of rights to any firearms, and even disqualifications from specific job-specific licenses. There is the possibility of plea bargains to avoid a trial ruling. However, defendants should prepare for any possibility.

Restraining And Protective Orders

More than likely, defendants will have to be expected to comply with a restraining or protective order that most victims will put in place. The length of these orders can vary drastically, but often they will last a few years and can even be extended for an indefinite amount of time. No matter what defendants may feel about the case‘s outcome, they should follow these orders no matter what happens. Failure to comply with a restraining or protective order can carry serious consequences that can jeopardize the case‘s outcome.

What To Do

While a guilty verdict or even charges, to begin with, can seem like the end, there are ways to lessen the impact. If you are found guilty of a domestic violence charge and have the charge saved in your criminal record, you do have options to expunge the record. In Minneapolis, the process can take upwards of 6 months to expunge a criminal record. The best plan of action is to have a team of attorneys advising you on the best legal steps you can take. That‘s why at Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A., our attorneys are here to help.

Call Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. at (612) 444-5020 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

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