An alleged victim does not need to be injured in order for charges to be filed. An allegation that something occurred, as well as any corroborating evidence, will generally allow the police to make an arrest. The police can make an arrest just on the allegations of a single party.
In order to try to prove a battery at trial, however, the DA is going to look for some collaborative evidence.
Under Georgia law, the police are required to make an arrest if they see any visible injury. Oftentimes a named victim will say, “I don’t want any charges,” or “I don’t want the person to be arrested.” Police department policies must be met. In other words, they are bound by their oath to make an arrest, with little discretion at the scene of the alleged crime.
If The Alleged Victim Recants Allegations Of Domestic Violence, Will That Mean My Case Is Dismissed?
If an alleged victim recants allegations of domestic violence, the case will not be dismissed. Once the arrest has been made and the case is referred to the prosecutor’s office, it is solely up to the prosecutor to determine whether charges will be made or not. The law requires that they consult the alleged victim on what they would like to see happen, but if the state can prove the case, then they’ll go forward with it. In more than 50% of the domestic violence cases, the victim does not want the accused to go through the court process, yet the state will prosecute anyway.
What Are The Penalties Associated With Domestic Violence Charges In Georgia?
Of the misdemeanor variety (Simple Assault, Simple Battery, and Family Violence Battery), the typical sentence is 12 months on probation, a fine, community service, and attending a 24-week family violence intervention program (FVIP). Jail time recommendations are usually only made on a subsequent offense, or if the particular injury is great. While the penalty for Family Violence Battery can be 12 months in the county jail, that aspect of it is rarely given. Depending upon the jurisdiction and the level of injury that’s involved, the penalty would more likely be 10, 15, or 30 days in jail.
What Is The Role Of Evidence In A Domestic Violence Case?
The role of evidence in a domestic violence case is huge. This is particularly true if you have a victim who does not desire to prosecute the accused because then the state will need to look for additional evidence. In order to do so, they will typically listen to a recording of the 911 call to see who called and what was said. It will be used as the best evidence of what transpired and will be played for the jury. In addition, they will look for photographic evidence in terms of injuries or signs of a house in disarray. Children of the parties and neighbors who may have witnessed or heard the event will be interviewed.
After the arrest, communication between the parties who are describing what took place can also play a role. Most officers now wear body cameras, so they can actually videotape the initial scene as well as the audio from the alleged victim. This type of evidence is very compelling to a jury.
Can Prosecution Introduce Past Occurrences Of Domestic Violence In The Evidence?
Yes, the prosecution can introduce past occurrences of domestic violence. The standard operating procedure for the prosecutor’s office is to request a 911 call history for that particular location. If the incident occurred at a home, then they will request every call for 911 that has come from that home to look for similar incidents.
Sometimes this will show that the police have been out there a few times and not made an arrest. This could be quite helpful to the defense, because it may show that the alleged defendant has reported aggressive behavior from their wife or girlfriend in the past and that the police did nothing about it. This would support the position that the defendant was acting in self-defense.
For more information on Injuries In Domestic Violence Cases, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (678) 726-5400 today.