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Notification of prosecuting decisions in domestic violence cases

Walking into a courtroom is often an intimidating experience, especially for those facing criminal charges for the first time. In the Spokane area, a person charged with a crime related to domestic violence is unlikely to know what to expect as they go to court. Taking a case to a criminal defender experienced with charges of spousal abuse, domestic assault charges and related offenses can be a very helpful decision.

In Spokane, it is the prosecuting attorney who usually makes the final decision regarding whether or not to pursue a case. In other words, just because a person has been arrested on domestic violence charges doesn't mean they will necessarily be convicted of a criminal offense. Charges may be dropped, they may be amended to lesser charges or a defendant may plead guilty to lesser charges.

When the prosecuting attorney decides to prosecute - or not - he or she is required to inform the alleged victim of that decision within five days. Before that, if the victim requests, the prosecutor must inform him or her of the case's current status. In addition, if criminal charges are not going to be filed in a case, the notification given to the purported victim must include descriptions of options available for that person to begin a criminal proceeding.

Sometimes criminal cases can involve a lengthy prosecution, especially if the matter goes to trial. An experienced domestic abuse defense attorney can explain the pros and cons of potentially going to trial, what to expect, how to share the entire set of facts surrounding the case and more. In Washington State, a person who has been arrested on a domestic violence charge must appear in court within a single judicial day following the arrest. Thus, it is critical for these defendants to obtain the right legal help as soon as possible.

Source:, "Domestic Violence Court," accessed July 23, 2016

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