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Domestic Assault charge dismissed @ preliminary hearing due to false testimony. How do I present charge to Grand Jury?

Goodlettsville, TN |

Batterer has Long History of Abuse and Assaulted me in front of witnesses. The Defense presented false testimony misleading the Judge, causing charge to be dismissed, which I can prove. Charge never would have been dismissed, if Defense hadn't presented false testimony and Batterer has already had the charge Expunged off record, in less than 30 days. How do I present the Charge before the Grand Jury, if the DA want return my call?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Before a Prosecutor presents a case to a Grand Jury, there needs to be an investigation by law enforcement.
Before there is an investigation, a citizen (you) needs to file a complaint to the police. this is the process in most jurisdictions.

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Posted

Victims can sue civilly if the criminal justice system fails them.

↓ Mark this answer as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if you like it. For more information, contact us at www.SteakleyLawFirm.com or (404) 835-7595. The initial consultation is always free for Avvo users.

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Posted

You may be out of luck. The proceedings at a Grand Jury are secret, and no one other than grand jurors, district attorneys and their witnesses have the right to be present. The district attorney may have determined that the case was impossible to prove because of the existence of contradictory testimony. If you can't change their mind, you could always pursue a civil remedy for monetary damages. If you decide to go this route, the statute of limitations (time you have to file a lawsuit) in Tennessee for such actions is one year from the date of the conduct giving rise to the action.

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1 comment

Patrick Wellington Denton

Patrick Wellington Denton

Posted

It occurred to me today in court that I may have hastily answered this question and made some assumptions that changed my answer. If this was a trial against"Batterer" in General Sessions Court, and the Judge dismissed the case after at least the first witness was sworn in, then legal jeopardy has already attached, and Batterer cannot under any circumstances be tried again for the same exact offense. The DA may have known that, and that may be why he/she isn't returning your calls. Someone at the DA's office should be able to explain this to you. My above answer is applicable only if you were describing a preliminary hearing, which is usually (though not always) how felonies proceed to Criminal Court. The State or Defendant can also elect to have misdemeanors sent to Criminal Court if either side chooses that. The defendant typically does this only if he/she wants a jury trial.

Posted

Just because the charges were dismissed by the General Sessions Judge does not mean the case won't still go before a grand jury. I don't know how it is up in your part of Tennessee, but here in Shelby County (Memphis), cases are often dismissed in General Sessions. The DA's office still takes the case to the grand jury and indicts. A dismissal in General Sessions is not a final dismissal. They can still end up in criminal court. But it is up to the prosecutor to indict. The fact that his charges were expunged (removed from his record) is also irrelevant. He can still be indicted and if indicted, and convicted he will have a record. As the prior attorneys mentioned, you can also sue him in civil court. Be aware that the statute of limitations in Tennessee is one year. This mean you have one year from the date of the assault (not one year from the date of charges or conviction) to sue or settle. If you wait beyond a year you will likely be barred by the time limits from suing.

Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship. I provide this service for educational purposes only. I will take no action on your behalf unless you have hired me and a written retainer agreement is signed. I am licensed only in Tennessee and I strongly suggest you consult with an attorney in your city and state as Statute of Limitation deadlines can limit your recovery.

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3 comments

Patrick Wellington Denton

Patrick Wellington Denton

Posted

I agree that it *could* still go to the Grand Jury for a presentment if this was a preliminary hearing in Sessions Court. I think the questioner is saying that the DA's office is no longer pursuing the matter ( "the DA won't return my call"). I would also add that if this was a trial on a misdemeanor, and not a preliminary hearing (as I think all of us have been assuming), then jeopardy attaches and there's no way a grand jury can act on this same set of facts.

Stephen Alan Sauer

Stephen Alan Sauer

Posted

Very true. I was assuming that there had been a preliminary hearing; not a trial. If there was a trial and he was found not guilty then the case is likely over due to double jeopardy. Good point Mr. Denton.

Patrick Wellington Denton

Patrick Wellington Denton

Posted

I think all of us made the same assumption, myself included, Mr. Sauer.

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