Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Idaho

Q: In a domestic battery case where the state is the one pressing the charges against both spouses statements.

The husband spend a total of 3 days in jail the first two he is making phone calls to his wife and they are discussing the situation and what they are going to do on the third day the defendant sees a judge and is released on pretrial but if given a no contact order by the judge on that third day then after being released and going to the preliminary hearing the prosecutor is trying to amend charges to add violation of no-contact order and intimidating a witness is that going to hold up in court when the defendant have not yet received the no-contact order from the judge and the wife is on statement saying the husband is not guilty it is the state that is pursuing the charges against him so I'm trying to figure out if there is any validity to the prosecutor more or less threatening new charges of intimidating a witness and violation of the NCO, even though NO nco was issued yet??? it is still true that the state can use those calls against the defendant?

1 Lawyer Answer
Kevin M Rogers
Kevin M Rogers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Boise, ID
  • Licensed in Idaho

A: This sounds like a situation wherein the actual prosecutor believes he/she’s a witness to an NCO violation, perhaps a jail call (that they listen to). It’s a much trickier charge to get out of since the threat of amending the charge is easier than you’d ever imagine for the State to prove. If your inmate can’t read the BOLD writing just above the jail phone that says, “All phone calls are being recorded,” please remind him NOT to ask the V to “not press charges” etc., because the State can prove the phone call even if you don’t cooperate! So in this case it might make sense for him to plead guilty to the first charge if the State agrees to drop the NCO (phone call from jail) charge. Because each charge carries a maximum of 1yr. of jail and $1,000 fine. 3 NCO violations in 5 years is a felony and carries up to 5 yrs of prison and a $5,000 fine. So I’d take the 1 for 1 offer myself! Good luck! That’s a tough break but be smart and don’t try and fight this one! You won’t win!

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