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Anyone have experiance with domestic violence and the legal system?

Posted by on May. 8, 2013 at 4:00 PM
  • 20 Replies

I have a friend who just got a subpoena to testify against her ex-boyfriend. He broke into her apartment and tried to kill himself, damaged a bunch of her stuff, got blood all over the place...it was pretty bad. He violated the PPO she had against him and his bond (not sure what that means). He was arraigned this morning and bail was denied.

She's really scared...she got the subpoena and she didn't understand why. She said it isn't a jury trial and she didn't press charges against him.

What happens at a trial that isn't a jury trial? Why does she have to testify?

by on May. 8, 2013 at 4:00 PM
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Replies (1-10):
katy_kay08
by on May. 8, 2013 at 4:03 PM
1 mom liked this

I know that a lot of states no longer rely on the victim to "press charges" especially in situations of domestic violence.  All too often the victim refuses to press charges out of fear of retaliation.   

She has to testify because she was the victim and witness to the actions.  She may want to contact the court and see if the DA's office has a victim's advocate.  They will be able to better answer her questions.   

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 8, 2013 at 5:01 PM
Thanks.


Quoting katy_kay08:

I know that a lot of states no longer rely on the victim to "press charges" especially in situations of domestic violence.  All too often the victim refuses to press charges out of fear of retaliation.   

She has to testify because she was the victim and witness to the actions.  She may want to contact the court and see if the DA's office has a victim's advocate.  They will be able to better answer her questions.   


illegallyblonde
by Lawyerupbeeches on May. 8, 2013 at 5:18 PM
1 mom liked this
A trial without a jury is a bench trial. That means the judge will decide the case. Have your friend contact victim assistance at the prosecutors office. Someone there should explain what's going on to your friend and the case.
LIMom1105
by Bronze Member on May. 8, 2013 at 7:22 PM

OMG, this actually happened to me years ago, or something rather like it. I broke up with someone and he broke into my apartment, did a lot of damage, and wouldn't leave when the police showed up.  What's with these guys?

Anyway, in my case he did enough damage for his offense to qualify as a felony (when a neighbor called the police he also threatened them so that was another offense).  Since it was a felony, I had to testify in front of a grand jury.  If it's a grand jury, it really isn't that hard, the witness answers questions about what happened, and in my case, they were very straightforward.  I was pressing charges though, and this was also about 15 years ago so the way it's handled may have changed.

Tell her to contact her attorney, or the prosecuting attorney, and ask them to explain what is going to happen, what sort of trial it is, etc. They really should walk her through it a bit in advance so she knows what to expect.


Good luck!

soonergirl980
by Silver Member on May. 8, 2013 at 7:54 PM

My ex violated my RO 3 times. I never had to press charges it was always automatic. He also had charges filed against him for violating my RO a 4th time that not only did I not even press charges about it I didn't know he violated it until almost a year later after he served jail time for it.

Carpy
by Ruby Member on May. 8, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Is it a bench trial? Or pretrial?

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 8, 2013 at 8:23 PM

She's been in contact with them. She has some mental health issues of her own. She so upset she can't get it together long enough to process a thought. It's very frustrating for me trying to help her through this. Our other friend is going to try and contact the advocate.

Quoting illegallyblonde:

A trial without a jury is a bench trial. That means the judge will decide the case. Have your friend contact victim assistance at the prosecutors office. Someone there should explain what's going on to your friend and the case.



Carpy
by Ruby Member on May. 8, 2013 at 8:24 PM

I am going to guess it is a pretrial, which is going to be the prosecutor showing the validity of bringing the case before the court.  You are in Michigan, right?

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 8, 2013 at 8:27 PM

She doesn't know. She's 32 going on 13. I am getting so angry with her about this...

He boyfriend before this was dying of cancer...when they met...on the internet...while she was married. He dies 6 months ago and she met this new dude right before the old one died. Her divorce was finalized last month.

We've been BFF's for almost 20 years but i am just about done with this.


Quoting Carpy:

Is it a bench trial? Or pretrial?



UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on May. 8, 2013 at 8:29 PM
1 mom liked this

Yes. This case is in Emmet county.


Quoting Carpy:

I am going to guess it is a pretrial, which is going to be the prosecutor showing the validity of bringing the case before the court.  You are in Michigan, right?



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