Before we answer the question of “how to get domestic violence charges dismissed”, it is important to understand how domestic violence affects our society.
Domestic violence has for long been labelled as a ‘private matter’ in some households. Often feelings of overwhelming fear and shame may even cause some people to not report domestic violence cases right away. The fear and trauma which the victim is subjected to can cause long-term changes in their lives and can greatly affect their well-being and mental health.
While some cases are reported accurately, others may be false and fabricated reports. In such instances, the wrongly accused may have a harder time figuring out how to get domestic violence charges dismissed.
As a serious crime, domestic violence causes a lot of damage to the victim and is related to approximately 40 percent of all homicide-related cases. But, what if you were wrongly accused of the charges? What if you are stuck in a rut and you are currently stressing out on how to get the complainant to drop your charges?
In Australia, domestic violence is prevalent among all relationships – be it within families, relatives, friends, or even strangers. How to get domestic violence charges dismissed is a tough question to solve because these current statistics reveal a very serious and dark reality:
- 1 in 6 women and 1 in 20 men in Australia have experienced physical or sexual violence from a partner may it be in a former or current state.
- 20 people (on average) aged 15 and over were hospitalised every day from 2019-to 2020
- 23 percent of women and 16 percent of men in 2016 had experienced emotional abuse may it be from a current or former partner
- More than 116.000 people who were assisted by specialist homelessness services in 2020-2021 experienced family/domestic violence
It is obvious from these numbers alone that women are more vulnerable to domestic violence.
The Role Of Patriarchy
The role of patriarchy and our question of “how to get domestic violence charges dismissed” still seem difficult to solve when paired together.
In fact, many cases with women as victims fail to reach the court because they fear that the perpetrator will cause more harm to them in the form of manipulation, blackmail, and further domestic violence. Hence, they tend to hide and not speak up even when given opportunities to do so.
Several professionals delved into the reasons why abusers behave the way they do in relationships. One theory is that abusers may feel the need to control their partner because of low self-esteem and extreme jealousy issues. This can be closely tied to domestic violence in households and relationships.
With all these given factors, the procedures behind “how to get domestic violence charges dismissed” are made tough to ensure that domestic violence victims remain protected.
It is also important to not that we should not turn a blind eye to men being the victims of domestic violence as well. Men may have trouble seeking ways to get domestic violence charges dismissed when they are wrongly accused.
Domestic Violence Charges And The Police
An important factor to consider when answering how to get domestic violence charges dismissed is that the police are the only ones authorised to withdraw an allegation against the partner or family members of the complainants.
Charges can sometimes proceed even if the complainant doesn’t present a statement to the police as they have a general policy not to withdraw domestic violence charges or an Apprehended Violence Order application unless there are acceptable reasons for it.
Apprehended Violence Orders – more commonly known as AVOs –are court orders which aim to protect a person by restricting certain behaviours of an individual (the defendant).
A restraining order can also be a term for this court order as it also ‘restrains’ the perpetrator from assaulting, intimidating, or harassing the victim where the protected person resides, works, or frequently visits. Notably, an AVO does not necessarily order a defendant to complete an anger management course or attend drug or alcohol rehabilitation.
How To Get Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed: Steps To Follow
As the defendant, you have the right to appeal to the District Court to dismiss an AVO against you. Before doing so, you must process an application within 28 days or 3 months with leave permission from the District Court. If not, there will be a legal presumption that an AVO shall be made for the sake of the presumed protected person’s protection until you have made your appeal within the said time frame.
Experienced criminal and family lawyers have the tools and knowledge on how to get domestic violence charges dismissed. Below are general steps on how to do so:
- First, arrange for the complainant to communicate with an independent lawyer;
- The lawyer can prepare a retraction statement/letter on behalf of the complainant;
- Now, serve the statement/letter to the police and the defending party; and
- The defending party will prepare a written representation to the police to withdraw domestic violence charges.
In case the police are not willing to withdraw your case – you may now choose another way to get domestic violence charges dismissed. This other approach on ‘How to get domestic violence charges dismissed’ is to proceed for a hearing at court.
While many judges continue to dismiss such cases, they may take other cases to court trials if the claims of the victim and evidence presented are consistent. A case like this can also go to trial even if there are inconsistencies as some officials will try to find out if the victim is being forced to lie or to say otherwise.
Importance Of Seeking Legal Advice
You will need an experienced family lawyer to represent you who can handle the case, police officers, and the complainant for any loopholes to prove you are guilt-free on the case. The very thought of ‘how to get domestic violence charges dismissed’ can cause great stress. A highly recommended decision is to contact solicitors who can help you with dropping these kinds of charges.
We believe it is never easy to deal with these cases; that’s why at JB Solicitors, our experienced family lawyers can assist you in dealing with these complicated and stressful matters. We offer fixed-fee pricing for our services for you to have a hassle-free process in these types of cases.
Contact JB Solicitors today