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Domestic Violence Q & A What is domestic violence? If someone is being abused what can you do to help? Q&A regarding domestic violence issues go here.

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  #1  
Old 04-29-2012, 01:15 PM
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Default Can the DA build a case for DV with the police report & pictures?

Im from buffalo, ny. Im suppose to testify in front of a grand jury for the DA against my ex. I do want him to get jail time but I dont wana get up in front of a bunch of strangers n tell them what happened to me. I feel ashamed. My question is will the DA still be able to build a case without my testimony. They have pictures & the police report? Will the case be dropped if I dont show or will they still be able to procede without me?
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:58 PM
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If you get subpoenaed to appear, you MUST appear. Failure to appear puts you at jeopardy for a contempt of court citation, meaning you could find yourself facing significant fines and/or jail time for failing to testify.

It is COMMON for victims to feel ashamed when they have to tell complete strangers about the bad things that have happened to them. It's something your really have to deal with and when you go to court to face the Grand Jury, you should stop by Victim's Services and inquire about counseling and other programs that may be available to you. Further, a victim's advocate may be made available to you to help walk you through this procedure.

A Grand Jury is a jury that sits for a year. They hear it all, and you will not be the first person to testify about dv to them. I know that for you, they are all strangers, but they have heard it all, they have seen a huge variety of victims, and you probably will not stand out to them. Your testimony will be short, sweet, and to the point. They are just interested in showing that they have met the minimum threshold to bring charges, not that your abuser is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Further, Grand Juries are held in secret - there are no reporters, no cameras, and the public cannot sit in and watch. Further, your abuser will not be there, so it's not as open and public as a trial.

Listen, this happened to you and it was out of your control. You have nothing to feel ashamed about. I know I can say that until I'm blue in the face, and you're probably not going to believe it because you don't feel it. You need to deal with that feeling. I hope you're doing some DV specific counseling so that you are talking about it and working through all the feelings associated with it. It will really help. You do not need to be ashamed, and you do not have to feel ashamed.
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:15 PM
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I wasnt Subpoenaed to testify the DA asked me to but I think they have more than enough evidence so that I dont have to testify...He was arrested in my house, I had 2 black eyes, my nose was broken, and my left eye was swollen shut, I told the police exactly what happened and they took pictures at the hospital. So cant they convict him with out my testimony seeing as its all in the police report & doctors reports?
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:24 PM
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Of course they can build a case on that . . . but you might as well face the grand jury and start to retake your power. Telling what happened can slowly make you stronger, and you really will need some counseling, where you will tell it all again. It will get easier, and you will get help and he will get what he deserves.

Go for it. Start to feel the strength flow back into you as you tell your story . . . it's the beginning of standing up for yourself........

Honest, you'll be fine. I was.
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:28 PM
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Is it possible for the DA to win? yes, ANYTHING is possible.

Will it make it 100x more likely that he will walk if you don't testify? YES!

Get over it and testify! It is normal to feel ashamed and embarrassed in your situation. But going to court will actually give you a sense of control.
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tcm3591 View Post
I wasnt Subpoenaed to testify the DA asked me to but I think they have more than enough evidence so that I dont have to testify...He was arrested in my house, I had 2 black eyes, my nose was broken, and my left eye was swollen shut, I told the police exactly what happened and they took pictures at the hospital. So cant they convict him with out my testimony seeing as its all in the police report & doctors reports?
yes, it's possible to win.

The Grand Jury isn't about convicting somebody, it's about whether the case goes forward, eventually seeing a jury. If the grand jury doesn't come back with a true bill, he's let out, and the charges are dropped.

Calling the victim before the grand jury means that the victim is heard. It allows the state to see how you perform, which will add to the information that the State has about whether it needs to call you at trial. It also puts emotion before the grand jury. The State wants to grand jury to hear from the victim - how the crime has and continues to have an impact on the victim so that the grand jury returns a true bill to the steepest charges it can. Without the voice of the victim, it becomes mere math, and the charges could go down substantially.

The State is not to the point that it's thinking about winning. All the State's doing is taking the case before the grand jury so that a true bill might be returned, and the case can go forward.

If you want to be relegated to that type of victim who won't show up because she's still in love with her abusers and thinks she deserves the abuse, then don't show up. That's what the State will think about you. A vindictive prosecuting attorney will look at it as, "if she doesn't care, why should I bother?" and may let the whole thing slide. If a true bill isn't returned, the State won't refile, your abuser will be let out of jail, and the Protective Order will be allowed to expire at the earliest possible date.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:50 PM
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Yes - they can possibly succeed with the Grand Jury and at trial without your testimony. The state is requesting that you to testify truthfully about what happened. I suggest you do what they are asking - tell your story and let justice be properly served. There is no shame in doing that.
Good luck!
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:24 AM
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I know your fear about testifying, sounds scary as hell! But its not as bad as it looks on TV, the whole trial thing is nerve racking. But I am so glad/proud I did it. They had a gun, knife, a letter he wrote saying what he was going to do, a ripped up DVPO, and pics of blood on my son, and the DA would not prosecute without my testimony.
Luckily he took a plea after me being on the stand for 30 mins testifying,( I honestly think he didnt think I was strong enough to testify) its theraputic testifying and letting him know you are no longer afraid of him.
I was able to read a victim impact statement and was able to exspress how I felt. That was also theraputic.
DO you have a victims advocate? If not contact your local DVPO shelter, they will have someone go with you and support you!!
Good Luck
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:47 AM
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Here is the hotline for DV in Buffalo/Erie County. I hope you will call them and ask for help from a victim's advocate. I think they will be able to help you testify and if not, they can help with many other things.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:56 AM
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Thank you all & I have already spoken to a victims advocate but thanks for the advice.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:46 AM
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you may be able to ask the DA if a police officer can step in and read your statement from the police investigation rather then you testify. i was given this option but that was in the state of california so things may be different state to state.
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:07 PM
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I will ask the da about that if it goes to trial I recently found out he was gonna be offered a plea so im kinda worried about what will happen.
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:19 PM
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Talk to the DA NOW!!! You may have some influence on how good a deal he gets........if you bitch a little about him needing some time in the joint.
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:28 PM
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Yea I def will. Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:20 PM
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UPDATE!!!! So I testified in court last week wednesday and I find out he had court today and was sentenced 30 days in jail n 5yrs probation. He'll be released june 21st. I c y so many abused woman dont call the cops. If ur not dead its not worth their time!
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tcm3591
UPDATE!!!! So I testified in court last week wednesday and I find out he had court today and was sentenced 30 days in jail n 5yrs probation. He'll be released june 21st. I c y so many abused woman dont call the cops. If ur not dead its not worth their time!
30 days for 2 black eyes, a broken nose, swollen eyes, emotional and physical distress ????
Are you serious?! I am so disturbed! That is insane!!!!

My man steals some shit and gets 4 years.. Your ex Almost commits murder and gets 30 days? ! I am so bothered by this update!


I am so so sorry to hear this. I hope you are dealing okay .. How do you feel? I hope you are hanging in there. I am so sorry to hear this.
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:41 PM
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UPDATE!!!! So I testified in court last week wednesday and I find out he had court today and was sentenced 30 days in jail n 5yrs probation. He'll be released june 21st. I c y so many abused woman dont call the cops. If ur not dead its not worth their time!
Hun, women do not report the abuse, because inside they do not want the man to get into trouble, or they do not want to be blamed for the abuse.

I am sorry he got such a light sentence and sincerely hope you have a protective order against him (I am sure the court has ordered one). Once he is out, make sure you do not have any contact with him.

Keep getting therapy, because you need to heal from this asshole's abuse.

Peace~
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:17 PM
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I am so very sorry. I know that it seems like nothing compared to what he did and what you went through just gathering the courage to testify and relive it and talk about it in front of him. It feels like such betrayal when the DAs convince you to talk at your own risk for your sake and the sake of other victims and then the judge does nothing! You did win though and he has a conviction. If he does this to someone else in the future, he will be in worse trouble. I am so sorry that you went through this whole thing. I know that it is hard to see it as a victory, but you did win...
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunflower View Post
I know your fear about testifying, sounds scary as hell! But its not as bad as it looks on TV, the whole trial thing is nerve racking. But I am so glad/proud I did it. They had a gun, knife, a letter he wrote saying what he was going to do, a ripped up DVPO, and pics of blood on my son, and the DA would not prosecute without my testimony.
Luckily he took a plea after me being on the stand for 30 mins testifying,( I honestly think he didnt think I was strong enough to testify) its theraputic testifying and letting him know you are no longer afraid of him.
I was able to read a victim impact statement and was able to exspress how I felt. That was also theraputic.
DO you have a victims advocate? If not contact your local DVPO shelter, they will have someone go with you and support you!!
Good Luck
can I ask you something how much time did this person get
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:03 PM
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I didnt have to testify they took a deposition from me & used that & all the pictures they took of me. He got 4 years for what he did to me but I asked for lenancy only bcause of his daughter! The DA wanted to give him 20 years but when I asked for lenancy he wasnt happy but the DA & judge agreed.

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Old 05-28-2012, 12:35 PM
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30 days for 2 black eyes, a broken nose, swollen eyes, emotional and physical distress ????
Are you serious?! I am so disturbed! That is insane!!!!

My man steals some shit and gets 4 years.. Your ex Almost commits murder and gets 30 days? ! I am so bothered by this update!


I am so so sorry to hear this. I hope you are dealing okay .. How do you feel? I hope you are hanging in there. I am so sorry to hear this.
I am bothered by it too.. Mine had to do more time than that for an incident where no one was hurt. That is really messed up and i am sorry they are letting him out so soon, OP. I hope you have a plan to keep yourself safe from him when he gets out.
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:06 PM
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UPDATE!!!! So I testified in court last week wednesday and I find out he had court today and was sentenced 30 days in jail n 5yrs probation. He'll be released june 21st. I c y so many abused woman dont call the cops. If ur not dead its not worth their time!
That's it??!! That's all get got??!! Oh, that just pisses me off!


My ex physically attacked me in the visiting room in July of last year. (He wasn't locked up for DV.) He had me by my throat with one hand (I couldn't breathe.) and was punching me in the face with the other hand. I never pressed charges because his sentence is already long and I knew the prison would do their own thing with him.

I found out a few months later that he got another year added onto his sentence. I really felt that wasn't enough. But when I told a friend about it, whose ex had gone to jail before for DV against her, she pointed out that his one year was more than he would've received out on the streets. And as sad as it is, she was right.


I'm real sorry, hon. *hugs*
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