Recanting Victims and Infliction of Injury

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Recanting Victims and Infliction of Injury

Infliction of injury, more commonly called “spousal abuse,” is a California domestic violence crime that applies to intimate partners. These partners may be heterosexual or homosexual and may be married or divorced, living together or formerly living together, or have children in common. If an individual willfully inflicts any injury, no matter how minor, upon the body of an intimate partner, he or she can be charged with a felony, punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $6,000.

An infliction of injury charge can be filed against an individual upon the slightest indication of an injury. This means that it would be very easy for an alleged “victim” to charge his or her partner with this crime with little or perhaps no evidence. Many times an individual will do this simply out of revenge, anger, or some other inappropriate motive. He or she may later decide to tell the truth about what happened, but once the police are involved, it is too late to take the allegation back, as only the prosecutor and/or judge can decide to drop the charges at that point. When this type of situation arises, it is imperative for the accused to hire a skilled criminal defense lawyer from The Kavinoky Law Firm.

If the “victim” chooses of his or her own free will that calling the police was a mistake for any reason, it is best for both partners to speak with an attorney who will help decide the best course of action. Many times the “victim” thinks that recanting (which means to take back or deny) the original story or not cooperating with the police or prosecution will help the defendant. Unfortunately, that is incorrect. In fact, in an intimate partner abuse case, the prosecution usually expects that a victim will recant and knows exactly how to proceed under that type of situation. A genuine recanting victim can be extremely harmful to the defendant if not first guided by an attorney.

When a victim recants, there are two major issues that arise. The first is that evidence that may otherwise have been inadmissible during the trial will now likely be admissible, and the second issue is that a “recanting victim” gives the prosecution a great argument against the defendant. Beginning with the first issue, when a victim recants his or her story, the prosecution is allowed to introduce a recording of the call that the “victim” made to the police as well as any statements made to the police during the initial investigation. Because these statements were made in the heat of the moment and possibly out of revenge or stemming from some other motive, these statements can be devastating to the defense. Looking at the second issue, when a “victim” recants, the prosecutor usually brings in an expert witness who testifies that the victim is recanting because he or she has either been threatened by the abuser into doing so or that he or she is afraid of what further abuse might take place if he or she doesn’t recant. The expert will further explain that recanting is part of the cycle of abuse and that the “victim” likely suffers from “battered person’s syndrome”.

As previously stated, domestic abuse applies to intimate partners. It is the very nature of these types of intimate relationships that causes such highly charged, emotional disputes that are often blown out of proportion. An experienced lawyer is the key to making sure that the judge and jury not only hear that that was the case, but believe it as well. A highly qualified defense attorney from The Kavinoky Law Firm can help both parties navigate through the system with knowledge and compassion. The attorney will develop the most effective defense strategy to put an end to a terrible situation that simply spiraled out of control. Click here for a free consultation.