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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Pregnant Woman Charged With DV Battery

    Please help me! I am desperate!
    I am six months pregnant and have been charged with domestic violence battery (stature 14.35.3 - misdemeanor, state of Louisiana) against my husband. Additionally I am a foreigner on a non-immigrant visa.
    I'll try to explain the case.
    My husband and I had an argument. I slapped him (not very hard, no signs at all). He hit me on the hand (there was a small bruise later on, but the police did not pay attention). I locked myself inside of the bathroom and dialed 911 (that was stupid). I dropped the call couple of times because did not know exactly what to say. On the third time I said that I was hit by my husband and asked what will happen to him if the police comes? They said he will be charged and I said that I don't want any charges and dropped the call. All the time I was histerically crying. I had a kitchen knife inside of the bathroom (because my husband seemed violent at that time and I was scared), but I didn't threaten anybody! My husband was all the time outside of the bathroom, he had his keys, wallet and could leave any time. That is how police found the scene. They had to knock on the bathroom door to get into the bathroom. Then I opened I had a knife in the hand, but gave it to them immediately on request and said explicitly that I did not threaten anybody with the knife. My husband was already outside of the apartment, I guess they were questioning him. I told that my husband hit me in the hand. There was no bruise yet, but it started to swell. However, they did not pay attention. I asked what will happen to my husband, they said nothing much, he would be taken to prison for a night. I did not want my husband to be taken. And then I said I had hit him first. I am a foreigner, so I did not have idea about US laws and never thought I could be taken to jail. I did not want anybody to be taken to the jail at all! They have read me my rights, and said to write a statement. I asked if I have to fill it, because I did not want to do so. They said yes, I must. I wrote that I had hit him first and signed. My husband also signed the statement, I guess also saying that I had hit him before he hit me. After that I was taken to jail. There were no pictures taken of any of us, showing any marks or anything. There were no marks besides my bruise, but that appeared later and was not noticed by the police.
    Additionally, during the argument I have cut the string on couple of his tennis racquets and he broke my cell phone. Of this pictures were taken and of the knife too. There was additionally some old broken stereo staying near the entrance to the apartment, but that was broken before, as we both said to the police. Additionally, at some point we were arguing outside of the apartment, I was very emotional and waving hands. I am not sure if there are witnesses or not.
    My husband never pressed any charges and actually was crying then they took me.
    He got me out of the jail, the bail was 5000$.
    Next day we both filed to the police other statements, saying nobody hit anybody and it all was a mistake (I am not sure this was smart)
    I was not previously convicted or charged with anything at all.
    I know, that the best thing to do is to get a lawyer, but we do not have the money. Additionally, I might loose the job now and in that case I will be probably deported.
    My main questions are:
    1. Are there any chances DA will drop the charges? My husband did not charge me with anything, there are no proof except for the statements and my words to the police. What are my chances in the court? Can this statements be ignored on the ground that we did not have time to think about it and was forced to write in some weird situation (My husband actually filled his statement on the trash can!)? Is the police report considered to be an evidence in the court?
    2. If I am convicted, will I loose the custody over my future baby? Or should I just fly from the country before the court? What are the consequences for me, if I do so? What are the consequences for my husband, who signed the bond?
    3. I was told to have no contacts with my husband. Is it really Ok, if we are still living together, if my husband does not press any charges about it (I was told so by the officer in jail, then I was signing the papers)? I actually don't have any other place to go.
    4. Can we be accused of giving false statements to the police, because of the changing statements?
    5. Do I qualify for the public defender? Does it depend on the income?
    Please, I would appreciate somebody's opinion.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    75,463

    Default Re: Pregnant Woman Charged With DV Battery

    Check with the court to see if you qualify for a court-appointed lawyer. They should have a form you can fill out to request one.

    Obviously, lying to the police is a really stupid thing to do, although it happens a lot in domestic violence cases.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Pregnant Woman Charged With DV Battery

    Thanks for the answer.
    I decided to get a lawyer on Tuesday.
    Actually, right now I am so confused about the situation, that I am not sure in which statement I lied to police Did I lie at all? In the heat of the moment everything looks different. But I definetely overreacted, then I called 911.
    I am interested, however, can those first statements be disregarded because we both (me and my husband) were misinformed by the police? We both asked if we have to write the statements, and they said we must. But actually we did not have to! So those statements are kind of forced. And this is the only evidence of violence or battery, because once again, nobody was hurt at all. And then the police came, there was no violence, no arguments, my husband was actually cleaning his things. He obviously did not feel threatened.
    How often does it happen, that DA drops the charges? My husband is going to ask for it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Pregnant Woman Charged With DV Battery

    let me know what happened with your situation and if it was dismissed. I am in the same situation and freaking out. I am 5 months pregnant and hit smacked my boyfriend. They had evidence of a mark on his face where I hit him and he posted my bail ($1000) I have court in 3 days and have no clue what to do and currently have no lawyer or public defender and dont know how to go about getting one. Please let me know what happened in your situation so I can have a heads up in mine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Pregnant Woman Charged With DV Battery

    Hi, Emmy504ln,

    My husband filed no-prosecution affidavit at DA's office, they called him and talked to him. After that assistant DA decided not to file charges and case was dismissed. It never went to court and hopefully not going to.

    If your boyfriend did not do so already, I would recommend to file this non-prosecution affidavit. I have been told that they never drop charges without it.

    Good luck with your case and pregnancy!

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