Q: what does it mean to be a “suspect” in a family violence case?
My husband and I are going through a horrible time. He has been cheating and is violent to me. I have begged him to leave and he wouldn’t. The other day I told him I wanted a divorce and he grabbed my wrists so tight and wouldn’t let go. He was hurting me. I bit him to try to get away. He called the police on me because he said he wants to ruin my life since I am a teacher. He tried everything to get me arrested but the cop did not arrest me. He did, however, give me a case number and told me that I was a “suspect in a family violence case”. What does this mean exactly? Am I going to be charged? My husband realized the huge mistake he made. I am playing nice so he will admit the truth to the police. Will this change anything? I am terrified of losing my career over this! I am the victim!
A: The responding officer will write up his incident report and turn it over to a detective who will decide whether or not to pursue a criminal case.
Based on your description of the incident, your husband committed assault against you by grabbing your wrists and your biting was lawful to protect yourself from his illegal use of force. However, if you were hurting him or damaging community property this his grabbing was a lawful use of force and your biting was an assault on him. In a mutual combat situation, the question is not who started it but rather, "Who was the first to use UNLAWFUL force?"
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