Domestic violence is an all-too-common form of violent crime in the nation these days, including in Spokane, Washington. Domestic violence charges are punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. If the offense is deemed a gross misdemeanor, the defendant may serve up to 365 days in jail and pay a $5,000 fine. The penalties are higher for a felony offense. However, there is always a possibility that a defendant is just wrongfully accused.
It seems that Ray McDonald, a professional athlete who play in the National Football League, was apparently wrongfully accused of domestic violence. According to a recent report, the domestic violence charges against him were dropped. McDonald was charged with felony domestic violence following an alleged incident involving his fiancé. The charges were dropped after the result of the investigation could not produce enough evidence to proceed with the case. The athlete was reportedly relieved about the prosecutor's decision and hoped that the accusation would not affect his life again. The domestic violence charges put his professional career on the line. McDonald said that the allegation ruined his reputation, even though the incident was still being investigated by the police at the time. It almost destroyed his career following the decision of the NFL to discipline football players convicted of domestic violence.
Although a domestic violence charge may not be as severe as murder, homicide and other crimes, the consequences to an accused person can be significant. If the individual has a promising career during the alleged incident, those allegations can seriously impact opportunities and other endeavors.
A defendant in a domestic violence case is still presumed innocent until proven guilty. This means that the defendant can establish innocence through a strong criminal defense. A criminal defense strategy may include further investigations in the case and protect the defendant from mistreatment in court.
Source: CBS San Francisco, "49er Ray McDonald Speaks Out After Prosecutors Drop Domestic Violence Charges", Nov. 11, 2014