Case: State v JW
Charges: Felony Domestic Assault – Strangulation, and Misdemeanor Domestic Assault – Harm
Outcome: All charges dismissed
JW was a victim of how police handle situations where any party is alleging domestic violence. JW was sleeping on a couch when his then girlfriend jumped on him. She was intoxicated and acting irrationally. Without thinking, he responded by jumping off the couch and grabbing her – hoping to defend himself. When he realized who had jumped on him, he immediately stood down.
Unfortunately, in Minnesota, when any party reports that a domestic assault might have occurred, the police respond by instantly arresting the accused party. This usually means arresting the male party. Once a person is arrested for domestic assault, it is almost automatic that the person will be charged with the crime of domestic assault. Even when a victim recants their statement and is adamant she was not a victim of assault, the prosecutor will continue forward with the prosecution.
Luckily, JW had the courage to stand up for himself. We agreed he had a strong defense so we scheduled a jury trial. On the day of trial, the prosecutor finally agreed and dismissed all charges against JW.