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  #1  
Old 05-18-2019, 04:56 PM
Bijou Drains is offline
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Court case where I am the "victim"


Got into a fight with GF, she called 911. The police show up and as a shock to me she was arrested, not me. They said she started it so she had to be arrested. I had some minor scratches , she had no injuries. I don't see my self as a victim but the court says I am. This is in NC if it matters. I begged them to not arrest her but they said they had no choice.

I don't want this case to go forward but they say they cannot drop charges on my request due to it being domestic. I don't think I can be forced to testify . My plan is to hire a lawyer and get the lawyer to ask the DA to drop charges. Good idea?
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Old 05-18-2019, 05:14 PM
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no have her cop a misdemeanor plea and get community service or classes ... shes not going to get off Scott free .....all they have to do is show the pics they took of your scratches... your involvement really isn't needed but you could be called as a hostile witness if they feel like it

Last edited by nightshadea; 05-18-2019 at 05:15 PM.
  #3  
Old 05-18-2019, 05:19 PM
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they can prosecute without the victim ever going to court? As I said I will consult a local lawyer on this. Her charge is simple assault, a misdemeanor.
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Old 05-18-2019, 05:23 PM
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I don't think I can be forced to testify.
Of course you can be. A prosecutor may not want to put you on the stand as a hostile witness, but there's no privilege here.
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Old 05-18-2019, 05:26 PM
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Uh... perhaps take a step back. For me, a total stranger, this seems like an odd reaction. Maybe "victim" is the wrong word for you here, but I don't really understand why you're so worried about this. You didn't call the police and you weren't arrested. Why not just let it play out without you?
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Old 05-18-2019, 05:28 PM
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I am fine to let it play out without me. Just don't want to end up in trouble for not testifying. and how would they decide I am a hostile witness if they force me to testify?

Last edited by Bijou Drains; 05-18-2019 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 05-18-2019, 05:40 PM
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Domestic violence is domestic violence, no matter if the perpetrator is a woman.

You wouldn't expect a man attacking a woman to escape the law, would you? So why the difference with a woman attacking a man?

Last edited by Quartz; 05-18-2019 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 05-18-2019, 05:42 PM
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Sorry I have no advice for you.

I just wanted to comment that Men's Rights Advocates should be very pleased at this.
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Old 05-18-2019, 05:44 PM
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I am fine to let it play out without me. Just don't want to end up in trouble for not testifying. and how would they decide I am a hostile witness if they force me to testify?
Ah. In that case, why not just show up and say "I would rather not testify." It's a domestic violence case; there are a lot of reasons why people don't want to testify against the person. You can't plead the fifth, but I don't see why you can't calmly and reasonably state that you don't want to testify, and if forced, give correct but minimal responses.
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Old 05-18-2019, 05:46 PM
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I was not attacked at all. She threw a cell phone at me (not an attack ) and then there was some wrestling where I got scratches from her nails. Also I cannot talk to her until the case is settled. I did find that in 20% of cases the person calling 911 is arrested so that is a surprise to me.
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:09 PM
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I was not attacked at all. She threw a cell phone at me (not an attack ) and then there was some wrestling where I got scratches from her nails.
You may not think of that as an attack, but from a legal standpoint, that sure seems to meet the technical definition of an attack to this non-lawyer.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 05-18-2019 at 06:09 PM.
  #12  
Old 05-18-2019, 06:17 PM
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the cops treat domestic issues way different because the law says they have to. From what I could tell they were not happy about the way this turned out. When the cops showed up I figured for sure I was going to be arrested . I was thinking of who could bail me out the easiest. It was very upsetting to see my GF in handcuffs in the street, this was around 11 pm. She was released the next day on bail. I am still upset about it 4 days later, I cry about it often .

Last edited by Bijou Drains; 05-18-2019 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:41 PM
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Are you staying away from her?
I think about her just like I would a man. She needs to learn there are consequences to her actions. Better to learn it now. IMO.
Sorry you're going through this. I'm sure it's hard.
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:44 PM
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her bail condition is she cannot contact me in any way. So I have to stay away
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:45 PM
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I think that is probably best.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 05-18-2019 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:01 PM
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they called me up and asked if I was worried about her being released and I said no. I don't know what would have happened if I said I was worried , I was not expecting that call. Maybe they would have kept her in more time if I said I was worried?
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:03 PM
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Checked my basic understanding of domestic violence laws and this article confirms what I thought. It's the State that's making the charge(s) against the OP's GF, and as such the OP can't "drop" the charges:

"Can the Victim Drop Domestic Violence Charges?

Let's consider a fairly common domestic violence situation: your spouse has seriously injured you by punching or kicking or choking, and either you or someone you know (family, friends, neighbors, etc.) has contacted the police. The police arrive and gather evidence for a domestic violence charge against your spouse.

The situation is chaotic. You're scared about what might happen. You don't want to be abused, but you also don't want to see your spouse get into legal trouble. Many battered spouses feel the same need to protect their abuser. You may be wondering whether you, the victim, have the authority to drop domestic violence charges.

The answer is no. Once the prosecutor's office has issued a domestic violence charge, the victim has no authority to drop the charges. But why not? Domestic violence is a crime. The process behind criminal charges is frequently misunderstood. Most people believe that victims of crime issue the charges. This is wrong. Crimes are governed by the State, and it's the State that issues criminal charges, not the victim.

In other words, since you didn't issue the charge, you can't drop the charge. Therefore, it's the State (and in particular, the prosecutor's office) which will decide whether to move forward with the case or drop the domestic violence charges. Keep in mind that even though you aren't the one to bring the criminal charges, you'll have an important role to play as the proceedings advance."

https://family.findlaw.com/domestic-...e-charges.html

Last edited by lingyi; 05-18-2019 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:13 PM
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as the link says I am contacting an attorney to help me out. I already got a letter from the DA's office about the first trial date , it's not a formal subpoena. From what I heard on that date it is just getting the plea from her which I assume will be not guilty and then the trial would be later , if it happens .
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:22 PM
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Not a lawyer, but I suggest doing some research on your own before asking a lot of questions of your lawyer, which may save you some money.

For instance, a quick search on the NYC domestic violence law shows that it is cut and dried:

"What Is “Mandatory Arrest” for Domestic Violence?

New York State has “Mandatory Arrest” laws regarding domestic violence. This means that the police must make an arrest when they have reasonable cause to believe that a person has committed specific crimes against members of their family or household.

Current or former spouses;

Current or former intimate partners, including same-sex couples and teens in dating relationships;

Persons with a child in common, including adopted children; Persons related by marriage (in-laws, etc.);

Persons related by blood (siblings, parents, etc.).

The police are not allowed to ask you if you want the abuser arrested or if you want to “press charges.” In fact, in most mandatory arrest cases, even if you ask the police not to make an arrest, they are required to do so. Mandatory arrest does not necessarily mean immediate arrest. It means that the police must make an arrest even if the abuser leaves the scene before the officers arrive."

https://opdv.ny.gov/help/fss/part22.html

Last edited by lingyi; 05-18-2019 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:29 PM
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yes that info on mandatory arrest is the same here in NC from what the police told me.
  #21  
Old 05-18-2019, 07:38 PM
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Oops, sorry. I read NC as NYC and that's why I cited the NYC law. Still, well read and advised will save you some money and give you a better understanding of what I personally believe is a very serious matter.
  #22  
Old 05-18-2019, 08:01 PM
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I was not attacked at all. She threw a cell phone at me (not an attack )
Yes, that actually IS an attack. That qualifies as assault under the law.

Quote:
and then there was some wrestling where I got scratches from her nails.
That is also assault.

Your girlfriend broke the law. The law should not discriminate on the basis of gender and in this case it did not. You may not "feel" like a victim, and sure, your injuries might be trivial... but she still broke the law.

Quote:
Also I cannot talk to her until the case is settled.
So don't talk to her until it is settled. Honestly, you could get into more trouble by doing that than by being reluctant to testify. It could also makes things worse for her.

The other thing is that far, far too many women think it's OK to engage in that sort of violence (and yes, it is violence) against men. It's not. And sometimes it escalates. You don't want that either.

It's real simple - when a couple has a conflict it's OK to use your voice. It is NOT OK to throw things or punches at each other.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:02 PM
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they called me up and asked if I was worried about her being released and I said no. I don't know what would have happened if I said I was worried , I was not expecting that call. Maybe they would have kept her in more time if I said I was worried?
Either that or some sort of order of protection mandating that she keeps a certain distance from you, does not attempt to contact you, etc.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:05 PM
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well I shoved her down to the bed so I wonder why I was not also charged? The cops knew that from both of us.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:10 PM
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You were the one bleeding? You weren't the one throwing objects?
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:18 PM
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a few small scratches that did not bleed. cell phone did not hit me when thrown
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:32 PM
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also she was allowed to come over and pack a bag , the police came with her. They told me not to talk to her when she was here so I did not .
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:49 PM
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I just wanted to comment that Men's Rights Advocates should be very pleased at this.
Oh please. I'm not an MRA, but I was abused by my wife. The police determined that his girlfriend should be arrested. Many places have policies (if not laws) that say that someone has to be arrested during a domestic violence call.

Bijou, you can be compelled to testify since she is not your spouse. Please don't lie for her, but you can make it clear to the court that you don't support her being charged and you don't want her to be punished. This may or may not mean anything at all to the judge (or jury), as it is common for the victims of domestic violence to not want the perpetrator to be charged, either out of love, or out of fear.

Given the actions, and assuming no prior charges, she should not expect any jail time.

On the other hand, you should consider this a HUGE RED FLAG for your relationship.
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Old 05-18-2019, 09:33 PM
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well I shoved her down to the bed so I wonder why I was not also charged? The cops knew that from both of us.
You said the police determined she started the fight (certainly escalated it by throwing the phone and scratching you, even if unintentionally), so it's likely this was viewed as self defense or trying to de-escalate the fight.

As it is, based on your OP, you ARE the victim here based on visible (to the police) physical and verbal evidence.

I agree 100% with Chimera. No matter the outcome, keep this in mind the next time this happens. Which statistically is likely if you remain in this relationship.
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Old 05-18-2019, 09:42 PM
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BTW, for prosperity sake. I speak strongly about this issue because my second sister's son has at on at least occasion assaulted her (though he was not arrested) and just got out jail for domestic violence against at least one of his girlfriends. The situation with my sister has been bad enough that she has at least two TROs against him. I have no doubt that within the next few years, he will directly or indirectly (through her worrying about him (she looks well beyond your ~70 years)) cause her premature death.

I've washed my hands of the situation because several years ago, when my oldest sister (who knows much more about what's been going on than I do), said my second sister must stop enabling and protecting him, because the next time he might kill her, my second sister stated: "I don't care. He's my son!".

Last edited by lingyi; 05-18-2019 at 09:44 PM.
  #31  
Old 05-18-2019, 10:06 PM
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her bail condition is she cannot contact me in any way. So I have to stay away
I am not your lawyer and I don’t practice in NC, but...

She is the restricted party, not you. Yes, it’s easier if you stay away, but *you* are not legally required to. She is. So you can call her if you need to. To make it more official, you can file a request with the court to amend bond conditions to allow contact. Now, you are technically a non-party, so the better practice is for her to do so (by filing a motion through her lawyer), and you can then write and file a letter indicating you agree (the judge still has to enter an order changing the condition, and that may require a court hearing where you affirm your desire, but this is not an uncommon request in a DV case)..

Also, you only have to go to court if you are subpoenaed, which means serving you with papers. My suggestion is to call the DA, advise that you want the charges dropped and do not want to testify, and then hope that you aren’t served. Since it’s a misdemeanor, they may not put in the effort to find you.

If you are served with a subpoena to testify, you should attend and be honest. But, as I often tell people, you should not guess when under oath, and sometimes the most truthful statement is that you don’t remember.

Best of luck.

Last edited by Moriarty; 05-18-2019 at 10:09 PM.
  #32  
Old 05-18-2019, 11:11 PM
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as the link says I am contacting an attorney to help me out. I already got a letter from the DA's office about the first trial date , it's not a formal subpoena. From what I heard on that date it is just getting the plea from her which I assume will be not guilty and then the trial would be later , if it happens .
I'm not going to tell you not to get yourself a lawyer- but think about why you want to get a lawyer. To help you get the DA to drop the charges? A lawyer is not going to matter- they will drop the charges or not depending on their assessment of how strong their case is. To keep you from being subpoenaed? A lawyer isn't going to be able to stop that. Don't spend money hiring a lawyer without any idea of what your goal is and whether it is realistic to expect a lawyer to help achieve it.


Quote:
how would they decide I am a hostile witness if they force me to testify?
"Hostile witness"in this situation means that you are opposed to your girlfriend being prosecuted. And that generally means you are not being cooperative with the prosecution and that you will not be answering questions in the way they would like. I don't mean that you will lie or that they want you to lie - but maybe when you are asked a question , instead of answering the question you were asked you might start talking about how you don't want her to go to jail. In that case, the prosecution may ask permission to treat you as a "hostile witness" which basically means they treat you as if you were a defense witness. It allows the prosecution to ask leading questions rather than open-ended ones, which they cannot generally do with their own witness.

They may not subpoena you if you are going to be a hostile witness, especially if they have enough evidence without your testimony. But they can absolutely prosecute without your testimony or cooperation- after all, the victim of a murder can't testify.
  #33  
Old 05-19-2019, 03:29 AM
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a few small scratches that did not bleed. cell phone did not hit me when thrown
"He only hits me because he loves me." "He doesn't mean to hurt me."

Look, whether YOU regard what she did as an assault the law does. She was arrested because what she did constitutes domestic abuse. Granted, it's on the minor end of the spectrum, but what she did was wrong enough to put her in cuffs.

It's a real problem that men don't recognize when they are the targets of abuse.

The next time you wonder why a woman didn't leave an abusive mate look in the mirror.
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:05 AM
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"He's only like that when he does drugs.", my sister about her son.

Hmm...being "...like that when he does drugs" despite being forced into rehab is what got him in put in jail!
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Old 05-19-2019, 06:39 AM
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thanks to everyone for advice. Would it help for my therapist to ask for charges to be dropped since testifying would be bad for my emotional health? I am very depressed over this .
  #36  
Old 05-19-2019, 06:45 AM
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So...why did she call 911? Either she was right to call, in which case you can testify that she injured you in self defense, or she called solely to threaten you, which might actually be worse than the other things, both to you and to the public safety. In either case, you really should probably both keep your distance.
  #37  
Old 05-19-2019, 07:03 AM
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thanks to everyone for advice. Would it help for my therapist to ask for charges to be dropped since testifying would be bad for my emotional health? I am very depressed over this .
From the outside, that doesn't sound like an appropriate therapist action at all. They're not there to fix things for you, they're there to help you figure things out yourself.
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:15 AM
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can't say why she called 911 since I cannot talk to her. I think my minor injuries were from when she pushed me off of her. The whole thing is sort of a fog , partly because it was so traumatic and it was over very fast. Cops said she was arrested for starting it by throwing the phone which to me is shocking and dumb. As I said there is nothing worse than seeing your GF in handcuffs in the street at 11 pm and knowing she was going to jail and I was helpless to stop it.
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:18 AM
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Were you guys wasted when all this happened? Is that why everything's such a fog?

Either way it seems to me you guys are better off being separated for now.
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Last edited by Acsenray; 05-19-2019 at 07:18 AM.
  #40  
Old 05-19-2019, 07:21 AM
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no drugs or alcohol involved. One odd thing was while she was talking to cops outside the cop inside with me was making small talk with me. (BTW we are together 3 years and both in our 50s. I'm guessing people thought we are much younger)
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:35 AM
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Quoth Bijou Drains:

they can prosecute without the victim ever going to court?
A lot of people ask this question, but if you think about it, it has to be that way. Otherwise, it'd be impossible to prosecute a murder case.
  #42  
Old 05-19-2019, 07:49 AM
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they called me up and asked if I was worried about her being released and I said no. I don't know what would have happened if I said I was worried , I was not expecting that call. Maybe they would have kept her in more time if I said I was worried?
Probably. This has happened with female friends of mine whose male partners were arrrested for domestic abuse.
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:11 AM
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I am fine to let it play out without me. Just don't want to end up in trouble for not testifying. and how would they decide I am a hostile witness if they force me to testify?
IANAL but I was a juror in a court case where this happened. It wasn't a big deal. A prosecution witness was very clearly trying to help the defense because she had overlapping interests. The DA was getting aggressive with questioning her, so defense asked the judge to declare hostile witness rules.

You should get legal counsel, but I think they will point out that many domestics get dismissed for lack of evidence. Like your situation, the prosecution's witness flips and doesn't want to testify, there isn't other physical evidence, so it gets dismissed. But they can't simply drop charges, so I would be surprised if there's any way to simply skip the proceedings.

Last edited by HMS Irruncible; 05-19-2019 at 08:11 AM.
  #44  
Old 05-19-2019, 08:14 AM
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So...why did she call 911? Either she was right to call, in which case you can testify that she injured you in self defense, or she called solely to threaten you, which might actually be worse than the other things, both to you and to the public safety. In either case, you really should probably both keep your distance.
This. There are a limited number of reasons why she might have called 911

1) Someone needed medical treatment or at least she thought that was the case - possible, but that doesn't seem consistent with your minor, non-bleeding scratches.
2) She wanted the police to respond because she was afraid she would continue to be violent toward you if they didn't. Unlikely, but a red flag if true.
3)She wanted you to be arrested or at least inconvenienced simply because she was angry and was using the 911 call to do so. Very possible- and giant red flag.


Think back- you say drugs and alcohol weren't involved and I can understand your memory of some things being foggy but you should be able to remember the gist of she said on the 911 call and what the cops said when they arrived.
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:22 AM
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I was upstairs and did not hear her make the call. (she was downstairs) Next thing I know the cops arrive. The cops asked me what happened and I told them . She told them as well, she was outside when they talked to her.
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:27 PM
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can't say why she called 911 since I cannot talk to her. I think my minor injuries were from when she pushed me off of her. The whole thing is sort of a fog , partly because it was so traumatic and it was over very fast. Cops said she was arrested for starting it by throwing the phone which to me is shocking and dumb.
If she threw the phone first and the rest followed, yes she started it.

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As I said there is nothing worse than seeing your GF in handcuffs in the street at 11 pm and knowing she was going to jail and I was helpless to stop it.
Nope. I say something like this would be worse.

What you should ask your therapist, and work with your therapist to resolve (in my opinion) is why you are so hellbent in trying to either absolve your abuser of her responsibility or to take responsibility for someone else's violent/abusive action. Again, I realize this is on the mild end of the spectrum but, you know what? Most of the time when it winds up on the other end it started on the mild end.

Assuming you're both adults no one should be throwing objects at the other in anger. Assuming you're both adults you both need to face your own consequences for your own actions.
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
I was upstairs and did not hear her make the call. (she was downstairs) Next thing I know the cops arrive. The cops asked me what happened and I told them . She told them as well, she was outside when they talked to her.


So in other words, she started the altercation, called 911 after it was over, didn’t tell you why and apparently didn’t even tell you she called? Big giant red flags. Think about the reasons for calling 911 in my prior post- which do you think it was?


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  #48  
Old 05-19-2019, 08:30 PM
Yllaria is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
. . . , I realize this is on the mild end of the spectrum but, you know what? Most of the time when it winds up on the other end it started on the mild end. . . .
And this is the reason that police started arresting all instances of domestic violence instead of trying to decide which ones were bad enough to "count". One of my son's friends had a wife who had anger issues. Her husband considered her to be abusive, but not violent, and the police were never called in. What worried him was that she got unreasonable when it happened. He finally decided to leave when she had an anger fit while he was driving on the freeway and she grabbed the steering wheel and jerked on it because he wasn't paying her the attention she thought she deserved. If he hadn't had a good grip, they'd have gone into a retaining wall at freeway speeds.

If she had shown awareness afterwards that she had been wrong, he might have stayed to try working things out. But she didn't and he started seeing a future that he just couldn't handle.
  #49  
Old 05-19-2019, 08:51 PM
SamuelA is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
I was not attacked at all. She threw a cell phone at me (not an attack ) and then there was some wrestling where I got scratches from her nails. Also I cannot talk to her until the case is settled. I did find that in 20% of cases the person calling 911 is arrested so that is a surprise to me.
In a practical sense, you have the power to say anything you need to say, whether or not it's true, when called to the stand in court. I'm not suggesting you commit perjury - just pointing out that if it even came to a trial, your girlfriend need not ever say anything as she would be advised to take the fifth. If you are forced to testify, you have the power to say the scratches were accidental and not an assault. As there is no one else that was ever in that room, that would be the end of the state's assault case.

Also, while you have been instructed not to contact her, you can contact her attorney, and rehearse what you need to say in court to make this case disappear.

Furthermore, you wouldn't have to lie. Simply saying that you do not recall the altercation clearly, and the scratches could easily be accidental, is plenty to establish reasonable doubt.

Last edited by SamuelA; 05-19-2019 at 08:55 PM.
  #50  
Old 05-19-2019, 08:57 PM
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Also, the way the process works, you can give a recorded statement to her attorney. Her attorney can then present that to the DA. The DA is going to sum up the case - now knowing what you are going to say if it came to testimony in court - and would most likely drop the case long before trial. The general rule for attorneys is that they never ask a witness a question they don't already know the answer to. If the DA knows you're going to say you don't recall clearly, and it was probably an accident, then the DA will know they have to try to win the case with your damning testimony. Since the DA probably cannot win in that scenario, the case would be dropped.

Last edited by SamuelA; 05-19-2019 at 08:58 PM.
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