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  1. #1
    wiltingflower is offline Junior Member
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    Husband arrested for domestic assault

    What is the name of your state? Kentucky (army)
    My husband was arrested for domestic assault a lil while ago, and he has a court date coming up the end of this week. When the military police showed up i asked for him to be taken away for the night to sober up as he was really drunk and didnt remember what had happened, they said they couldnt do that, that i had to press charges and write a statement. Now i am wanting to know if i had to do that? Should i hire an attorney for myself or him if they went against my rights? im really hoping someone can help me with this. He is currently doing aa meetings, going to asap classes and group therapy and no longer drinking and we are doing really good, however im afraid that he will get kicked out of the army or go to jail for this. Please if anyone knows if they went against my rights and i didnt have to press charges/write the statement let me know. thanks for any input.
    I did ask to talk to someone at our post jag office and they told me they couldnt talk to me about this subject as im asking if the army went against my rights.
    Last edited by wiltingflower; 12-03-2007 at 09:25 AM.
  2. #2
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Q: Now i am wanting to know if i had to do that?

    A: Yes.

    The cops are...well, cops...not your housecleaning service.
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  3. #3
    wiltingflower is offline Junior Member
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    seniorjudge- dont i have a right to choose to press charges or not? And from what you are saying can you tell me why i had to press charges and write the statement? Thanks.
  4. #4
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Q: dont i have a right to choose to press charges or not?

    A: No.



    Q: And from what you are saying can you tell me why i had to press charges and write the statement?

    A: You had to agree to co-operate with the prosecution.
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  5. #5
    fozzy2 is offline Member
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    This is a common situation, and of course the devil is in the details.

    First of all, victims don't really "press charges." Charging is a decision made by the prosecutor, and he can do it even over your objections. Often times, for minor crimes, the prosecutor will abide with the wishes of the victim (i.e. "I don't want to bother" etc.). But domestic violence is a 'hot-button' issue.

    You can, however, file what is called an "affidavit for non-prosecution." You can ask that your husband not be prosecuted. More effectively, you can state that no assault took place, that the officers misunderstood you, that you were confused, etc. The real question becomes: What really happened that night that you are certain of? If your husband assaulted you, and you know it, then you'd be lying if you said otherwise. On the other hand, if you husband was drunk and you simply wanted him locked up "in case" or to protect him from himself, then the officers may have unduly pressured you to press charges (and possibly mis-state facts) in order to get help.

    Sometimes the afidavit will result in charges dropped. Sometimes it will just enrage certain types of prosecutors. I would advise consulting with an attorney -- there are prosecutors who will threaten to prosecute *you* for "filing false charges" if you try and give such an afidavit. A local attorney can give you a better sense of how the local prosecution will handle the situation. If you are 'onboard', the prosecutor might agree to charge with a lesser offense and not seek a "finding of domestic violence" in return for a plea and your husbands counseling, continued AA, etc. Your lawyer will need to consult with JAG to ensure that any such conviction doesn't trigger the dreaded "Lautenberg Amendment."

    These are tough situations. If the only evidence the government has is your original report (i.e. no physical injury, not seen by police, etc.) then the fact that you might be a non-cooperating witness could weigh heavily with the prosecutor. Once again, I would advise talking to an attorney who handles these types of cases.
  6. #6
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fozzy2 View Post
    This is a common situation, and of course the devil is in the details.

    First of all, victims don't really "press charges." Charging is a decision made by the prosecutor, and he can do it even over your objections. Often times, for minor crimes, the prosecutor will abide with the wishes of the victim (i.e. "I don't want to bother" etc.). But domestic violence is a 'hot-button' issue.

    You can, however, file what is called an "affidavit for non-prosecution." You can ask that your husband not be prosecuted. More effectively, you can state that no assault took place, that the officers misunderstood you, that you were confused, etc. The real question becomes: What really happened that night that you are certain of? If your husband assaulted you, and you know it, then you'd be lying if you said otherwise. On the other hand, if you husband was drunk and you simply wanted him locked up "in case" or to protect him from himself, then the officers may have unduly pressured you to press charges (and possibly mis-state facts) in order to get help.

    Sometimes the afidavit will result in charges dropped. Sometimes it will just enrage certain types of prosecutors. I would advise consulting with an attorney -- there are prosecutors who will threaten to prosecute *you* for "filing false charges" if you try and give such an afidavit. A local attorney can give you a better sense of how the local prosecution will handle the situation. If you are 'onboard', the prosecutor might agree to charge with a lesser offense and not seek a "finding of domestic violence" in return for a plea and your husbands counseling, continued AA, etc. Your lawyer will need to consult with JAG to ensure that any such conviction doesn't trigger the dreaded "Lautenberg Amendment."

    These are tough situations. If the only evidence the government has is your original report (i.e. no physical injury, not seen by police, etc.) then the fact that you might be a non-cooperating witness could weigh heavily with the prosecutor. Once again, I would advise talking to an attorney who handles these types of cases.
    Fozzy - did you notice that it was the MP's who showed up?
  7. #7
    wiltingflower is offline Junior Member
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    Just wanted you to know that i was able to get an appointment today with JAG and was told that i did NOT have to write the statement or anything like that, that the Military police lied to me about me having to do it. I was told the reason they told me i had to write the statement was because too many wives/husbands do not come forward about abuse and that is thier way of getting us to press charges against our husbands/wives. And i did not know it was my right to NOT to have to write the statement at the time. I now have an attorney who is a US army Reserve JAG Colonel and we are trying to get the charges dropped as it appears I was coerced into filing the statement. And the state of shock i was in at the time makes the statement questionable. The only evidence they have is my statement and one photograph taken inside the house (not of any injury to me) as there was no physical showings of injury to me.

    Thank you for the information fozzy2. I really appreciate the people here who are trying to help me and not being sarcastic or rude with their answers (no names mentioned)
  8. #8
    Andy104 is offline Member
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    You got abused and you are fighting to stay?

    Heres it is: If you had chosen to not write a statement "on post" you would have been arrested for "impeding an investigation" or i forget the other charge it involves calling the MP's for an emergency and there not actually being one.
    NOW YOU WANT TO FIGHT TO DROP CHARGES AGAINST AN ABUSER????? why??
    why was the MP's called?
    Who called them?
    You wrote a sworn statement, are you now stating you lied on it? coerced or not you still wrote it.
    There are certain regulations and numerous guides concerning domestic abuse and sexual abuse in the army. One of the basic rules is to protect the victim. Everyone knows most of the time in a domestic sitation the spouse trys to protect the abuser this is called stockholm syndrome and is a diagnosible medical condition. If he is actually abusive get away, let him be punished, if not has there ever been an incident before? Have the MP;s ever had to respond to your house for this before?
    Does he have any other issues with the command? has he been in trouble before?
  9. #9
    CourtClerk is offline Senior Member
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    I hate to say it, but the next time he beats on you, just don't call anyone. Take your beating until he ultimately kills you since you want to pick and choose when you want government or police intervention.

    Then maybe you'll see why people take DV seriously. People die from that mess. You obviously won't learn until it happens to you.

    And I'm not being the least bit sarcastic. I'm drop dead serious.
  10. #10
    fozzy2 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy104 View Post
    Heres it is: If you had chosen to not write a statement "on post" you would have been arrested for "impeding an investigation" or i forget the other charge it involves calling the MP's for an emergency and there not actually being one.
    ?
    This is just plain wrong. To begin with, it is perfectly legal/legitimate to call the MPs *before* anything illegal is done. Indeed, in an ideal situation this is what happens. The MPs show up, people cool off and/or are separated, and in the morning everyone wakes up fresh. The police ideally are there to *prevent* crime just as much as to investigate crimes that have already happened. Most senior officers would gladly have you call the MPs before an argument came to blows rather than wait until damage is done and people have to be dragged in. Sometimes the "beat cop" (MAA, duty whatever, etc.) however thinks such duty is 'below' them, and they have an attitude of "If we get called, someone is going to jail." That is not the law, it is not the policy, but alas it sometimes is reality.

    Secondly, the wife didn't specifically say that he assaulted her -- she said that the MPs pressured her into signing a statement that may not have been accurate. And it may not have been. There was apparently no physical evidence the MPs saw of assault (no bruising, etc. no assault 'on view'). I'd be willin to bet dollars to donuts that the MPs didn't just "have her make a statement", but that they explicitly had her write specific statements that are designed to trigger prosecution (but may or may not be true). Not all contact, for example, is necessarily assault. But you'd better believe that if the MPs are going to be bothered to write a report they are probably going to go the 'extra mile' to "make it stick".
    Local cops, for example, have been known to tell people "We can't take a report unless you write that....(insert boilerplate)." A while back we had a case where the alleged victim wrote "I feared for my life and the lives of our children." The prosecutor was informed the couple had no children and there were not even any children around during the incident. He contacted the woman and she said "That's what the officer told me I had to write to get him arrested..." Would not have gone over well during testimony, so he reduced the charge to get a plea. It is not the rule, but it happens often enough to be a systemic thing.

    And on a final note, while I abhor domestic violence I do think we have to be careful not to fall into the trap of "every apple is equally rotten." By treating every incident in as draconian a mannner as possible we often end up punishing the victim even more than the perpetrator. As people are fond of pointing out in fraternization/"cheating" situations: If you get your husband kicked out, that just may leave you worse off than ever.
  11. #11
    cyberspook is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fozzy2 View Post
    This is just plain wrong. To begin with, it is perfectly legal/legitimate to call the MPs *before* anything illegal is done. Indeed, in an ideal situation this is what happens. The MPs show up, people cool off and/or are separated, and in the morning everyone wakes up fresh. The police ideally are there to *prevent* crime just as much as to investigate crimes that have already happened. Most senior officers would gladly have you call the MPs before an argument came to blows rather than wait until damage is done and people have to be dragged in. Sometimes the "beat cop" (MAA, duty whatever, etc.) however thinks such duty is 'below' them, and they have an attitude of "If we get called, someone is going to jail." That is not the law, it is not the policy, but alas it sometimes is reality.

    Secondly, the wife didn't specifically say that he assaulted her -- she said that the MPs pressured her into signing a statement that may not have been accurate. And it may not have been. There was apparently no physical evidence the MPs saw of assault (no bruising, etc. no assault 'on view'). I'd be willin to bet dollars to donuts that the MPs didn't just "have her make a statement", but that they explicitly had her write specific statements that are designed to trigger prosecution (but may or may not be true). Not all contact, for example, is necessarily assault. But you'd better believe that if the MPs are going to be bothered to write a report they are probably going to go the 'extra mile' to "make it stick".
    Local cops, for example, have been known to tell people "We can't take a report unless you write that....(insert boilerplate)." A while back we had a case where the alleged victim wrote "I feared for my life and the lives of our children." The prosecutor was informed the couple had no children and there were not even any children around during the incident. He contacted the woman and she said "That's what the officer told me I had to write to get him arrested..." Would not have gone over well during testimony, so he reduced the charge to get a plea. It is not the rule, but it happens often enough to be a systemic thing.

    And on a final note, while I abhor domestic violence I do think we have to be careful not to fall into the trap of "every apple is equally rotten." By treating every incident in as draconian a mannner as possible we often end up punishing the victim even more than the perpetrator. As people are fond of pointing out in fraternization/"cheating" situations: If you get your husband kicked out, that just may leave you worse off than ever.
    Agreed. Nice post Fozzy. The classic stream lined process is not the answer to these kinds of problems. All though it is more time consuming and what seems to be inefficient, these cases should be handled on a case by case basis.

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