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Can i press charges after being charged with domestic violence?

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?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer
Posted

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: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br> Jay Bodzin, Northwest Law Office, 2075 SW First Avenue, Suite 2J, Portland, OR 97201 | Telephone: 503-227-0965 | Facsimile: 503-345-0926 | Email: jay@northwestlawoffice.com | Online: www.northwestlawoffice.com

Asker

Posted

for sure, ive already been charged and am on pretrial release. she has a criminal history of being violent against me, i have put her in jail twice for two different other felonies involving DV. i was told by a consultation that my best defense is to state self defense and that i needed to try and "press charges"

Asker

Posted

thanks for answering my question the best that you could.

Jay Bodzin

Jay Bodzin

Posted

Self-defense may well be your best defense to this charge, but you need to work with an attorney to assert that argument. Once again, there is no such thing as "pressing charges." People need to stop saying that, it makes lawyers tear their hair

Posted

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-client relationship is not created until a Fee Agreement has been signed. In addition, my suggestions are based on very limited information provided by the Asker and are given based on my experiences and general circumstances. My suggestions may not ultimately be applicable to the Asker's situation because of the limited amount of information provided. No suggestion is guaranteed to be sucessful. Case specifics should not be shared online. You should seek specific legal advice in a private setting. Shannon L. Hall, Attorney at Law (Licensed in Oregon) 245 East 4th Avenue, Eugene, OR 97401 Phone: 541-434-2411, Email: Shannon@GoodOregonLawyers.com

Asker

Posted

she is my daughters mother and now i cant see my daughter over this, and i may never get to see her or not get to see her for a very long time... im not trying to get back at her, im trying to make sure she gets what she deserves for lying and assaulting me in front of our daughter

Asker

Posted

thanks for answering my question the best that you can

Shannon L. Hall

Shannon L. Hall

Posted

Was no contact with her and your child part of your release agreement? You should focus on defending the charges because the outcome will effect your ability to see your child.

Asker

Posted

yeah it was. i am focusing on defending my charges, that why i asked about if i can or should try and get her arrested since she attacked me and i got arrested. wouldnt it seem strange that i didnt try and get her charged for what she did to me?

Shannon L. Hall

Shannon L. Hall

Posted

You can still report it

Asker

Posted

for sure thanks for talking with me. have a good evening

Shannon L. Hall

Shannon L. Hall

Posted

Good luck

Posted

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. Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 26 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.

Asker

Posted

its not for revenge. she attacked me first and i defended myself by restraining her. why i was charged and arrested over her makes no sense. she has multiple felonies she committed against me in the past including assault and i have no record. she has abused me the entire time we were together. i want to press charges because she assaulted and wounded me, the police even took pictures as did my current girlfriend. my ex who attacked me does not have a single mark on her.

Asker

Posted

rightfully, because i did nothing but restrain her to prevent further injury. this woman has hit, kicked, thrown pint glasses , coffee cups, knives , chairs at me, i admitted nothing to the police except that i restrained her after being attacked and wounded.

Diane L Gruber

Diane L Gruber

Posted

I'm confused. You mean you were hanging around a person who had PREVIOUSLY assaulted you? And she was hanging around you even though you had PREVIOUSLY filed assault charges against her?

Asker

Posted

she is my daughters mother and we had been sharing custody :( i was trying to be a good person and wanted my daughter to have her mother and her dad in her life

Asker

Posted

im sorry for wasting your time... im so confused by all this. i was trying to find solace in others opinions. all i can do is hope that truth and justice prevails. thanks for taking the time to answer my question

Diane L Gruber

Diane L Gruber

Posted

You two should not be "sharing custody." Read my legal guides on the subjects of custody and parenting time. They are on my profile page of this website. THEN, meet with a custody attorney about your chances of getting custody. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

thank you.

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