Can i press charges after being charged with domestic violence?

Asked over 1 year ago - Eugene, OR

I am charged with felony strangulation. My ex girlfriend attacked me and clawed me in the face leaving bleeding deep scratches, in response i tripped her to the ground and held her there to prevent further injury to myself. Two days later, after she found out i was with my new girlfriend, she calls the cops and says i strangled her. the cop calls me and asks me what happened and i tell him. he tells me she said i choked her and i told him that my forearm came into contact with her throat when i was throwing her down defensively but i did not say or claim to have choked or strangled her. i am shortly arrested at my home based on probable cause. i am also informed she has no marks on her, and the arresting officer takes pictures of my clawed up face.When and Can i press charges on her?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Jay Bodzin

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . There is no such thing a "pressing charges." This is a common misconception. Criminal cases are investigated by the police, who refer them to the District Attorney, who in turn decides whether to prosecute. Private citizens can report crimes to the police and can cooperate with the DA in their case, but that's all they can do. No private person, even the victim of a crime, can legally compel (or decline) a criminal prosecution.

    In this case, it's clear that the police and DA believe that you should be charged, not her. While it's theoretically possible that an investigation could get them to change their mind, it's pretty unlikely. I say this not knowing anything about the case itself; I just mean to say that police (like everyone else) get a set idea in their heads about what happened in a series of events, and they're unlikely to deviate from that without some pretty overwhelming evidence. In other words, they're closedminded. They hear an accusation from a woman that a man assaulted her, and that's what they'll believe. But that doesn't mean that you're guaranteed to be convicted. A jury may be more understanding than the police. You need to preserve the evidence of what happened. Take photographs of your injuries, for example. This is critical. You don't want it to be just your word against hers.

    You need to consult with a criminal defense attorney immediately. You have the right to be appointed an attorney, at taxpayer expense, if you can't afford one. You can learn more about this here: http://www.oregon.gov/opds/Pages/index.aspx

    You could still file a civil lawsuit against your girlfriend for the assault, but you have no chance of succeeding at this until you're acquitted of the criminal charges (or they're otherwise dropped), and you'd be INCREDIBLY STUPID to try. If you filed a lawsuit against her now, she could use the civil discovery process to get all kinds of information from you that could be used against you in the criminal matter. As a criminal defendant, you have the right to protect against a lot of these kinds of requests, but trying to pursue her legally will make you lose those rights.

    Don't post more information about this on the internet. Don't talk to the police. If they try to talk to you, refuse and ask to talk to a lawyer. Do it right away.

    Please read the following notice:

    Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and... more
  2. Shannon L. Hall

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    Contributor Level 13

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    Answered . You can't "press charges." Only the district attorney can do that. You should talk to a criminal defense attorney about the charges against you and deal with that first. You may be entitled to an attorney at the state's expense if you cannot afford one. You could officially report her actions and see if the police arrest her. If you are able to defeat the charges against you, you could file a civil action against her for mailicious prosecution. There are several elements to that type of claim. You should talk to an attorney privately about that if you defeat the criminal charges. But it may not be worth the time and cost of pursuing such a claim, especially if she has no money and if your life is not significantly impacted. It may be best to move on with your life and not focus on how to get back at a jealous ex girlfriend.

    My response(s) to the question(s) on this website do not create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-... more
  3. Diane L Gruber

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . Good grief! Revenge is your first thought? You need a criminal attorney NOW! Good luck.

    Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in Oregon, you may call me for more detailed advice, 503-650-9662.... more

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