November 6, 2021 | Domestic Violence
Prosecution tactics in domestic violence cases can be extremely frustrating for those accused of domestic violence (DV) crimes in Northern Kentucky. Some prosecutors have a special vendetta against DV defendants, which may be due to the media attention these cases often receive.
After the terrible murder of Gabby Petito, prosecutors are only going to face increasing pressure to throw the book at those accused of acts of domestic violence. In this day and age, the presumption of innocence already seems like a thing of the past, and high-profile cases such as that one make it unlikely that the situation will change.
Considering the political climate, if you are accused of domestic violence, it is more important than ever to lawyer up. In this blog, we explain some common tactics prosecutors use in DV cases to secure a conviction.
Charge Piling in Domestic Violence Cases
A common prosecution tactic in domestic violence cases in Northern Kentucky is charge piling. Charge piling is when the prosecutor tacks on additional charges in order to force a defendant to plead guilty to the main charge.
Here is an example of charge piling. Say a prosecutor wants to convict a defendant for domestic violence. The prosecutor is too busy to take every case to trial, so they decide to charge pile to resolve the case quickly with a plea deal. The prosecutor will throw additional charges at the defendant, then offer them a deal to drop the extra charges if they plead to domestic violence.
For instance, the prosecutor may add trumped-up charges for disorderly conduct, destruction of property, witness intimidation, and anything else they can find a rationalization for charging.
The key to pushing back on overcharging is hiring a lawyer with a reputation for taking cases to trial. A prosecutor will be scared to overcharge you if they know your lawyer will force them to prove it at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.
Witness Intimidation Charges in Domestic Violence Cases
Another common strategy is to issue witness intimidation charges. There are two statutes in Northern Kentucky that can be used for witness intimidation. These are “Witness Tampering” and “Intimidating a Participant in the Legal Process.”
A basic type of witness tampering is attempting to induce a witness to skip a court appearance or otherwise avoid testifying. This is a Class D Felony, punishable by between one and five years in prison.
Sometimes prosecutors will try to charge pile defendants by issuing witness intimidation charges at every chance they get. One way they do this is by recording all of your phone calls from jail. If you talk to any victim or witness about your case, you are just asking for these new felony charges. Prosecutors will take a simple statement like, “you don’t want me to get in trouble, do you?” and use this as the basis for these additional charges.
Witness Intimidation and Tampering are two huge reasons why you should never discuss your case with anyone besides your lawyer.
No Contact Orders in Domestic Violence cases
The third tactic prosecutors like to use in domestic violence cases in Northern Kentucky is restraining orders, also known as “no contact orders.” These are orders issued by a judge upon request by the prosecutor. The idea is that the victim needs protection from the defendant.
However, no contact orders are often abused by prosecutors. They tend to ask for them in every single domestic violence case, even when the criminal history and allegations don’t indicate a need for them. When the court grants these orders, the defendant is sometimes no longer able to live in their own home during the court case, derailing their entire life.
Additionally, some defense lawyers suggest that prosecutors use no-contact orders to prevent the defendant from reconciling with the victim. If they can’t talk, they can’t make up. This ensures the state has its witness lined up for trial.
If you are charged with DV in Kentucky, you should consult a Kentucky criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. They can protect you from the prosecution’s tactics.
Contact the Cincinnati Domestic Violence Lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Cincinnati
600 Vine Street, Suite 1004
Cincinnati, OH 45202