It is common for our criminal court judges and magistrates to issue no contact orders in domestic violence arrests. A no contact order is not a restraining order, meaning this type of protection was not sought by any particular party, rather imposed by the court on its own motion. Violating a no contact order is considered quite serious by the presiding domestic violence judges in the County of Broward. If you are found to have contact with the victim in your domestic violence case, you will be arrested and charged with the subsequent crime.
What if the victim wants to see me?
Even if that victim reached out to you and wishes to have contact, you may not communicate or see them under any circumstances. Many people believe that if the victim in their domestic violence case tries to contact them that they may respond and that the no contact order does not apply.
Even where the victim wants to have contact with you, you will still be held to have violated a court order if you agree to meet with them for speak with them. The only way to have contact with the named victim to a domestic violence case where a no contact order has been issued is to have that order lifted by the court.
Victims who wish to have a no contact order lifted will appear at a scheduled hearing at the request of the assigned prosecutor. Many times the prosecutor will put the victim on the stand in order to tell the judge under oath that he or she wishes to have contact. What the prosecutor also does, however, is institute a line of questioning of the victim about the event specific to the alleged acts of violence. This secures sworn testimony by the victim that can be used as evidence to convict the domestic violence defendant. This can be used even where that victim does not wish to cooperate in the prosecution of the accused.
Let us know if the victim made any statements under oath two police officers at the scene of the domestic violence arrest or subsequently in court. Many times prosecutors elicit testimony by the victim to a case who seeks only to waive prosecution or have a no contact order lifted. Subsequently, the prosecutor can threaten a victim who does not wish to testify that they must testify truthfully otherwise be subject of perjury. Prosecutors, armed with sworn testimony by the victim, will then simply need to subpoena the domestic violence victim for court and force them to testify in conformance with their previously given sworn statement. Considering that most domestic violence arrest in Broward County involved husband and wife for couples who shared children in common, the criminal case effectively tears that family unit apart.
Pressure on Alleged Victim to Testify
Most domestic violence cases result in the victim not wishing to participate with the state’s investigation or prosecution. Be careful with how you handle a domestic violence case in which you are the alleged victim and do not wish to testify. Many times police officers exaggerate allegations made at the scene of a domestic violence call. This overemphasis on the facts leads to an assumption about a case that may not actually be criminal.