Take a Page out of the Bama Playbook Prosecutors

Recently there was an interesting outcome in an Alabama domestic violence case involving a University of Alabama football player, Cyrus Jones. In dismissing the case against Mr. Jones, the prosecutor actually acknowledged, and gave credit to the fact, that Mr. Jones ‘attempted to de-escalate the situation by contacting the Tuscaloosa Police Department’.

As is well known by now, in Washington if a police officer is called to a domestic violence scene there must be an arrest of one of the parties if contact is made within four hours of the call. Once that is done the prosecutor generally charges the person arrested with domestic violence; it is virtually a ‘rubber stamp’ process. Unlike in Alabama, prosecutors in Washington State rarely, if ever, acknowledge, or even give credit for, the person who was arrested calling the police, which is a real shame.

In Washington, it seems the prosecutor defers to the decision made by the police officer as to who was at fault. This, of course, is silly because as noted above, when an officer is called to a domestic violence scene they must arrest someone if they come into contact with the parties within four hours of the call. So even if the officer did not feel strongly about the arrest, he is forced by law to make that arrest. The theory is that this must be done to (wait for it …) ‘de-escalate the situation’; in practice the arrest results in some very suspect criminal charges being filed against likely innocent people. Prosecutors in Washington would be well advised to be a bit more pragmatic in their DV filing decisions, and to take a page out Alabama’s play book … pun intended.

Any person charged in Washington State with a domestic violence should immediately seek the assistance of an experienced Seattle domestic violence defense attorney. An experienced Seattle domestic violence defense lawyer can level the playing field and protect an accused’s rights against unfair domestic violence criminal charges. The law firm of SQ Attorneys has a record of successes in domestic violence defense in and around King County, Washington. If arrested for domestic violence call SQ Attorneys at 206.441.0900 for the answers to your important questions, or to schedule an appointment for a free and completely confidential consultation. It will be the best decision you make all day!

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