Q: I am being charged with battery against a spouse. Spouse does not want to press charges. Will I be convicted?
I admitted to the officer that I touched my spouse on the shoulder while he was walking away from me. We were having a verbal argument. Bystanders claimed that I grabbed my spouse around the neck and pulled on his shirt however I only touched my hand to his shoulder. He was walking very fast and I am pregnant so I could not keep up with him. I was begging him not to leave and to talk to me. He was yelling profanities at me and telling me to leave him alone. Police arrived at the scene. My spouse told the officers that I was not touching him in a violent way and he did not want to press charges. The officer arrested me after I told him that I touched my spouse but not to hurt him. Will I still be convicted of the crime? What can I do to prepare for my court date? If I plead not guilty, will I be placed back in jail during the duration of the court proceedings?
A: Your specific facts put your case in the less serious category of domestic violence cases. You are not likely to see any jail time after appearing in court. Bystanders (witnesses) can see the wrong thing if they don't have the context of what they're noticing. Your admission to the police only establish what was in fact the truth and will help you down the road. Once you appear in court the first day, the judge will likely place a temporary criminal protective order which sounds much scarier that it actually is. It just means you will be ordered not to be violent towards your spouse while the case is active. Given the exchange you had with your spouse as not being very violent, I'd encourage you to have an experienced attorney handling your case because you have a lot to work with.
Initially, if you don't retain a lawyer, ask for the court to appoint a public defender at your first appearance.
If you retain a lawyer, have him/her try to contact the filing Deputy DA to stop the filing.
Understand it is not up to one party to decide whether they want to pursue a case.
The Victim is really the people of the state of California. The DA can decide whether or not to file. The judge can't and can only come into the picture on sentencing and protective orders.
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