The victim cannot drop a case unless the DA is on-board with it as well. This can sometimes happen. If I send an investigator to speak with the victim, we get good information, and we learn that the victim doesn’t desire further prosecution, then they can agree to this. Ultimately, the final decision about dismissing the case is made by the District Attorney.
Obviously, a witness or a victim that no longer desires prosecution for whatever reason will be less helpful to them than a victim or a witness who actually wants to pursue prosecution.
What Is an Example of a Typical Plea Bargain For An Assault Charge?
If we are talking about some sort of misdemeanor assault charge, this would probably involve some period of probation, maybe a fine, and perhaps some sort of work release or community service, depending on the individual’s history. It would most likely involve anger management classes as well.
Are There Any Diversionary Programs Available for First Time Assault Offenders?
There may be programs available, depending on the county. Assault is one of those crimes that the DA sees as a “gateway” offense, depending on whether it’s a simple assault, assault coupled with the battery, or an assault with the deadly weapon.
Because of that, absent some extraordinary circumstances, there usually won’t be a diversion program available. If it is a simple assault, a person would probably get some sort of misdemeanor plea bargain, if they choose to go down that path. No diversion and no deferred entry of judgment is usually available, however. So it would be wise to consult with an attorney familiar with the Court system to find out what options may be available.
If I Was Involved in a Bar Fight, Could I Be Facing Alcohol and Drug Treatment Programs?
Yes, you could. If alcohol is involved in a bar fight, for example, the person would probably be charged with assault and maybe a battery if any punches were thrown or landed. The person might have a public intoxication charge, as well. Probation could involve some sort of alcohol treatment or drug treatment programs as part of that probation term.
What Sort of Protective Orders Are Associated With Assault Charges?
Usually, “no negative contact” orders will occur, at minimum. Restraining orders depend largely on what the underlying case is for and whether or not you know the victim. Obviously, if this occurs with some random person on the street, a no contact order will be set, but won’t really matter. If you know the person, you will at least have a “no negative contact” order, or a “no contact” order stating, “You can’t contact them in any way.”
As a matter of course, the district attorney will usually request a restraining order, regardless of whether or not you know the individual. This is simply done to cover themselves. If you do know the individual, if this involves domestic violence, there will likely be a restraining order, either no contact, or no negative contact. This order may or may not involve certain other conditions depending on the circumstances involved.
What Kind of Potential Penalties Does One Face for Violating the Protective Orders?
In most of these cases, the victim and the defendant don’t really know each other. This won’t really be an issue. If it does become an issue, and it is violated, the defendant could have a probation violation or charges of contempt brought against them.
If Video Footage of the Incident is Available, Can it Help my Case? Will my Attorney Have Access to it?
This will absolutely help the case if it is favorable to you. Obviously, if the camera catches something that involves you instigating things, even if you claim that you didn’t, it will hurt you.
There is a method for getting video recordings, or other helpful documents. If they are kept by third parties, you can have an investigator go out and view the video and try to get a copy of it. This may be appropriate; assuming the appropriate foundation for that evidence is laid out in court.
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