I am representing a client in an Essex County Municipal court who is charged with domestic violence related simple assault. There are cross-complaints between my client and my client’s spouse, each charging the other with DV assault.
In many cases such as these, the parties go through a cooling down period and decide that they do not wish to proceed with the complaints. In some cases, the individuals may be the complainant. In other cases, there may be enough evidence for the state to bring the complaint. This distinction does make a difference in DV related prosecutions.
For example, in the present case, the couple has a history of domestic violence related incidents. Both parties do not wish to proceed. However, since the state is the complainant, the decision whether to dismiss the charges falls squarely on the shoulders of the prosecutor and the judge. In this case, the judge is unwilling to accept the recommendation for dismissal. As a result the case will have to go to trial. Both parties are represented by private counsel.