Charges are classified as domestic violence when the alleged victim is a relative, has a child with, or lives with the Defendant. Because of this, domestic violence charges are unique because they involve emotions and close personal ties. As a former domestic violence prosecutor, attorney Mark Lowry understands how to navigate through these specific charges to uncover the truth of what really happened and get the right result for his clients.
Many domestic violence (DV) cases are often charged as Battery, which is the unlawful touching of another. Most allegations occur within the privacy of a home with very few witnesses, and often times the alleged victim calls the police simply to help the argument or get some space from the Defendant, but does not actually want him or her arrested. Regardless, most police departments have a policy that requires someone to be arrested in these circumstances. Attorney Mark Lowry is contacted often by alleged victims saying they did not want the Defendant arrested, not knowing that someone needed to be arrested when they called 911.
When the alleged victim does not want to prosecute the Defendant we need to make the prosecutor aware. An effective way of doing this is by affidavit, called a waiver of prosecution that we create together, sometimes with the support of our investigator, which we file with the court and prosecutor’s office. Because many arrests in the DV division are started out of emotion and not actual violations of the law, the DV division of the State Attorney’s Office understands many cases will be dismissed, as the alleged victim will not prosecute the Defendant.
Once a Defendant is arrested the first appearance judge will typically issue a “no contact order”, meaning the Defendant can have no contact with the alleged victim. Being that typically the alleged victim did not want the Defendant arrested in the first place, the first motion we can file is a motion to vacate the no contact order. This accomplishes 2 goals: we are able to reunite the alleged victim and Defendant, and it shows the prosecutor they will not have a willing and cooperative victim to use as their chief witness. Then when the State receives the waiver of prosecution signed by the alleged victim, it reinforces the point that they do not have a case and will ultimately need to drop all charges.
Should the alleged victim want to continue prosecution and is in fact cooperating with the prosecutor, then we need to take a different stance and defend the case vigorously. One main tool in defending such cases is the taking of depositions, specifically the alleged victim’s. A deposition is a chance for attorney Mark Lowry to subpoena the State’s witnesses and place them under oath to give a sworn statement about what happened. This is a very valuable piece of discovery as often times details will change from the initial statement given at the scene and what was stated at deposition months later. Because both statements are given under oath, we are able to show the differences to the prosecutor, or jury if need be, to get the case resolved in a positive manner.
Attorney Mark Lowry knows the ins and outs of these types of charges and how to properly get them resolved for his clients. His experience, reputation with the State Attorney’s Office and judges, and ability to connect with the parties to make sure everyone is on board make hiring this firm exactly what each DV Defendant needs.