Greenwich Domestic Violence Civil and Criminal Actions

When facing domestic assault charges, it may be critical to understand the difference between Greenwich domestic violence and criminal actions. A criminal domestic violence action is when the police are called and the police have the discretion to make an arrest. Once the arrest is made, the matter goes to the criminal court and while there is still an alleged victim, they are not prosecuting the criminal action. In these cases, the prosecutor brings the criminal domestic violence action against the person.

In a civil case, an individual person sues another person and brings the lawsuit against them. If someone was charged criminally with assault in the third degree or a different level of assault, and there were injuries, the alleged victim in that case could also sue them civilly by bringing a lawsuit for a civil assault against the same person. If you are facing domestic assault charges, it may be imperative to hire a distinguished assault lawyer who can be by your side every step of the way.

Role of an Accuser

In almost all cases, the accuser will be seeking money damages either for medical bills or therapy bills as well as any alleged pain and suffering. One of the differences between Greenwich domestic violence and criminal actions is who has the ability to drop a case. In a civil action, the person bringing the lawsuit has the opportunity to withdraw the lawsuit whenever they so desire. The alleged victim may not want the case to be prosecuted at all and end up reconciling. In other cases, the alleged victim might ask the prosecutor for jail time or probation or a no-contact order. They have the ability to ask for a range of different outcomes.

Who can Drop the Charges?

The accuser is able to give their input to the prosecutor that they would not like the case to be prosecuted anymore. However, the prosecutor has the discretion as far as whether to continue the case or to drop it. Only the prosecutor is able to drop charges.

Accuser Participation in the Criminal Case

The prosecutor usually asks the accuser to come in and speak with them. If the case goes to trial, they have the power to subpoena the accuser, summoning them to testify. There are situations in which the alleged victim does not show up and cannot testify against the defendant, and often times those cases end up resolving. However, the prosecutor does have the power to require someone to attend court and testify.

Importance of Limiting Contact

It can be important, first of all, if the judge orders the person to limit contact with the accuser. It is definitely important to listen to a judge’s orders and to obey a protective order. Other than that, anything that the accused person says to the accuser,  even in text messages, can be used against the accused. If the accused is texting the accuser to drop the charges, that can be used against them and be brought into evidence, harming their position in the trial. To learn more about acceptable and non-acceptable forms of communication are during your trial, speak with an attorney who can advise you throughout Greenwich domestic violence and criminal actions. 

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