Can Your Defense Attorney Contact the Alleged Victim?
Interviewer: When you’re representing someone that’s accused of domestic violence, are you allowed to contact the victim and try to see if there’s away to mitigate the situation?
Adam: Yes. At that point in time they’re just a witness regardless of whether he or she is a victim. So, I am allowed to contact them and see what their position is, talk to them get their story. Perhaps even have a potential to smooth things over and see if they’ll dismiss or at least agree to the possibility of dismissing or limiting what the amount of the penalty is.
Is It Possible to Mitigate the Severity of the Situation if Your Attorney Consults With the Alleged Victim?
Interviewer: Is contacting the victim on your client’s behalf something that frequently occurs?
Adam: It is not uncommon. I do frequently find that once the alleged victim has a cooling off period they may be amenable to discussion.
It does happen at least enough for them to just talk to me, and let me make a suggestion as far as alternate ways to resolve things where we don’t have to go forward with a domestic violence charge.
What Is a Cooling Off Period?
Interviewer: You mentioned a cooling off period. Do you find that this a specified length of time? What do the courts define as a cooling off period?
Adam: The typical timeline of these cases includes the initial arraignment where the person’s going to be charged on the misdemeanor or felony. And then you have a second hearing right around 30 days.
After 30 days is usually the time when I actually contact the alleged victim and see how they are doing. I see if the victim is missing the spouse or partner and if they are agreeable to some type of arrangement. This arrangement may include the defendant promising never to see the alleged victim again.
By Adam Hunt