Q: What are the advantages/disadvantages of Strangulation & Assault being moved from General Distr Ct to Juv Dom Relations
My 22 YO Daughter is the victim of Strangulation & Assault (2 counts of Abduction was dropped) by her then boyfriend. At the Prelim Hearing, the Commonwealth Attorney asked my daughter if she and the defendent were living together. My daughter said yes and ther next thing I know the case has been moved to the Juvenile and Domestic Redlations Court. There has been no definition of living together provided. How will this affect my daughter getting justice?
A: The Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court ("JDR") maintains original jurisdiction for these types of claims if the victim/offender cohabitate together. There is no substantive difference between General District Court and JDR in the prosecution of these offenses. The initial hearing in JDR will be a preliminary hearing on the strangulation charge and if probable cause is found, it will be heard in the Circuit Court. The assault charge can be certified with the felony or the trial can occur. You should contact the victim/witness coordinator and the prosecutor. They can help explain the process to your daughter.
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