Can I tell judge husband does not deserve jail in victim impact?

Q: We were both charged with domestic violence, simple assault. My case will be dropped but he is on probation for non-violent traffic plea deal. I received paper in mail this week asking for victim impact statement. Can I take this opportunity to tell the judge my man is actually innocent and the negative effects this is having and has had on our family is due to the judicial system and him being held in jail instead of home raising our baby and providing for us as he always has? He does NOT deserve the charges. I want to know if this can hurt him at all if I plead to let him come home? (Pittsburgh, PA)

A: Every victim is afforded the right to speak at a defendant’s sentencing. Since I am not intimately familiar with the facts here, I suggest you run this past your attorney first. This is to make sure that anything you say will not jeopardize the plea agreement that you have been offered. You stated your case, “will be dropped”, so you want to make sure that happens. Secondly, you need to be careful that what you say at his sentencing is not contrary to your prior statements in the case which led to his arrest. This could lead to false report charges being filed against you. You may also want to seek counseling with a domestic violence therapist.

How to get DV charges dropped when I didn’t tell the whole story?

Q: My boyfriend and I were in a fight. I just lost a baby and found out he was cheating. I attacked him. He did not put his hands on me just detained me but I told police he did. He is on parole and is now in jail with a detainer.

A: These situations are complicated. Having charges dropped once they are filed is difficult but not impossible. You cannot just ask the police. The case will have to proceed to a preliminary hearing at which time you will be spoken to by the police, the DA and a victim/witness counselor. You will have the opportunity to speak with the victim/witness counselor and talk about this relationship and what you want to see happen. If there is no domestic violence history here, it may be possible for a withdrawal or a withdrawal after a continuance and domestic violence counseling. There is too much unknown her to advise with any certainty.

Will my ex will get his gun license back?

Q: My ex tried killing my daughter and I by running our van over a cliff. I grabbed the steering wheel and instead we hit a parked car and totaled my van. They wanted my daughter to testify and she had a major panic attack and her blood pressure went sky high. So, they made us drop it to two Simple Assault and Reckless Endangerment and other charges. He also has three Protection from Abuse petitions on him in three weeks of each other. Will he get his gun license back in Pittsburgh, PA?

A: Simple Assault and Reckless Endangerment of Another Person to my knowledge are both misdemeanors 2’s. As such, if convicted, either would bar a person from possession a firearm under PA law and Federal law. I do believe an active Protection from Abuse Order will also preclude one from possessing a firearm in PA.


Q: I was charged with open lewdness and disorderly conduct. My husband and I got into a fight right after I got out of the bath. He dragged me out of the house I had no clothes on but from observer’s point of view it looked like I ran outside totally naked. The neighbor’s teenagers were outside by their cars (smoking pot) but I am sure they have seen a nude woman before. How am I being charged if I did not purposely go out naked and it was against my will? Why is he not being charged?

A: If you explained this to police at the scene, and the way you present this is what actually happened, I have no idea why he was not charged. I would get a lawyer to represent you as this can be defended or it has a good chance of being withdrawn at the Preliminary Hearing.