First time I've ever called the authorities on my husband for Domestic Violence. He was arrested, however, I didn't press any charges, will it still be on his record?
The victim of domestic violence is referred to as the complaining witness. Domestic violence arrests will result in a criminal investigation. It is not up to the complaining witness to determine if charges are brought against the one who was arrested - this is up to the prosecutor.
Here is a good article at Findlaw that discusses the process.
If the complaining witness recants, the prosecutor may decide to drop the charges. The prosecutor may, though, decide to continue the charges and prosecute the case. The complaining witness in recanting may face charges as well - for example, for making a false police report.
If the prosecutor presses the case and your husband is convicted then, yes, it will be on his record.
Seeking the advice of a New York attorney who specializes in these matters is the best course of action.
EDIT: Here is additional information regarding New York Criminal History Records:
New York State law does specify that, unless the court orders otherwise, arrest records are sealed when criminal actions are terminated in favor of the accused - dismissed, found not guilty, etc. This is spelled out in Criminal Procedure Law 160.50.
Arrest records are part of the public record until disposition of the case is completed.
At New York State's Court web site, you can read about how to get criminal records of anyone - they are public record so anyone can make a request about anyone. There is a fee of $65. Records can be ordered online and the results can be emailed to you. Searches are processed by an exact match of name and date of birth.
From their web site you will see that criminal cases transferred or removed to Family Court are not reported. Neither are records for people who had a single misdemeanor conviction over ten years ago or pending criminal cases categorized as Youthful Offender Eligible.
Generally speaking, New York criminal cases are part of the public record and are available to anyone unless they meet certain criteria or have been sealed under New York State law.
Note that sealing records doesn't mean the record goes away. It just means that the record is not available to the general public without a court order unsealing the record.
Here is the link to on-line direct access to records requests: http://www.nycourts.gov/APPS/chrs/onlinedirectaccess.shtml
Yes he can still have a record if he is convicted and yes, they can still go forward if the victim asks to withdraw the complaint. The victim to a crime (any crime, DV especially) can be subpoenaed to testify even if they don't want to. And you're under oath in the event of a trial, subject to the penalties of perjury. You also cannot mislead the police or DA's investigators in their investigation.
To this extent, the State takes the place of the victim in all criminal matters. That is why you see "State v. John Doe", not "Jane v. John Doe", in all criminal matters.
This is a very typical question by women who are the victims of domestic abuse. They often want it to stop at the moment but then feel bad, or feel he will change, or feel guilty, so they try to "drop the charges" only to find out that they aren't the ones who've filed the charges in the first place. @Dave D is right in that you are merely the victim (complaining) witness.
In some states, they will do as the victim asks of them if the batterer submits to anti-domestic violence/anger management counseling. In other states they move forward no matter what, and I have even seen them threaten a woman who said she wouldn't testify with false reporting . (This is an awful thing to put an already fragile, emotionally and physically abused women through, but it has happened).
A battered woman does have the ability to drop any restraining order, but if he's arrested there is one in place as part of the terms of release anyway, and only a court can amend it.
The state has a duty to protect the public (his future victims, as well as the current one) from criminal behavior by seeking a conviction if the facts justify it. Also, with the advent of the battered women's defense to homicide of their batterer, they often feel duty bound to pursue these cases.
When a victim asks the case be dropped, it will almost always depend on the severity. If you had a tiny mark on your arm and called the police because you were scared then there is a chance they'd drop it. In cases of severe injury or Felony Domestic Violence, no way.
YES! Everything against you an be dug up nowadays no matter how long ago and even if charges were dismissed. I was falsely accused of DV by a former live-in girlfriend, the charges were dropped in a hearing, but a dozen years later a detective investigating me after defamation by an ex-step-daughter brought it up as a factor in perceptions of me.
protected by jimsug Sep 9 '15 at 7:05
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