Q: My husband was innocent but charged with domestic violence in NJ due to my emotions, ignorance, and cultural difference
My husband and I had arguments and he was trying to hug me from the back to calm me down. The police saw it and noticed there was a red mark on my arm. I was too emotional and didn't know what I said would cause legal consequences. So I said he did it. He was charged with domestic violence. In China (I am Chinese) police are more like counselors and would just talk with people if they have family issues. So I did not mean it when I said it. The red mark disappeared very soon. And it might be myself who caused it when I was nervous and crossed grabbed my arms. I am wondering if there is any way to drop the case because he was really innocent and I felt sorry. The court staff said he needed to go to the court on the first court date and answer if he wants to hire an attorney, there will be another court date, and then I can talk to the prosecutor. But I consulted some lawyers they said I should go with him on the first court date and explain it. I am confusing. Can you please help?Thanks
A: He needs an attorney. When police observe signs of physical injury they must make an arrest. Your statement may be seen as the result of pressure from the husband. An attorney will know the correct way to pursue dismissal. Get him an attorney.
A: Your husband needs to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney, but you need to retain your own matrimonial attorney, who has extensive domestic violence trial experience. It is best if each of you retains the attorneys in each field of law who know and have worked together on these type of cases before. With modern technology, you can be represented by any high-quality attorney in New Jersey irrespective of geography.
A: If it's a civil matter, you can drop the case yourself (without a lawyer) by contacting the Domestic Violence Unit and explaining why the case should be dropped. But you may still need to go to court and appear before a judge. If you want the case dismissed and there's no justification not to do so, the judge must issue an Order of Dismissal. By the way, you're also very correct about the police in NJ vs. China. New Jersey no longer encourages police to act as counselors in domestic cases. That ended sometime in the 90's. Today, in most cases, police don't counsel the parties, they just arrest "the bigger of the two"... and that's usually the man.
A: First your husband needs a lawyer, he is facing criminal charges that will leaving him with a criminal record of conviction and he can even go to jail if convicted. The lawyers that told you he doesn't need a lawyer aren't representing him so of course they will tell you just speak to the prosecutor knowing that you can't do anything about the charges as you didn't file them. Technically, you and him both need lawyers and you need a lawyer that is not scared to go to court and tell the prosecutor that you did what you did. Many attorneys will be scared because you could possibly incriminate yourself to the charge of lying to a police officer so they rather not get involved. However, a good lawyer will. You need a domestic violence lawyer (this is a family law lawyer generally one who does matrimonial law) and your husband needs a lawyer like me who will make sure he has the best chance of getting these charges dismissed and staying out of jail. Most of us lawyers offer a free in office consultation. I suggest that you set one up.
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