Domestic violence guide for Defendants

What is domestic violence?

This is the first part of our guide for defendant’s faced with an allegation of domestic violence.

Domestic violence couple

There is no specific charge of “domestic violence”. The Government’s definition is:

“any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse [psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional] between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.”

What will I be charged with?

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) may charge you with offences such as:

  • Assault
  • Harassment
  • Coercive behaviour
  • Stalking
  • Criminal damage,  or
  • Threatening behaviour

The Decision to prosecute

There are two stages to the test: the evidential stage and the public interest stage.

  1. The Evidential stage: This requires that the CPS must be satisfied that there is enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.  If there is insufficient evidence the case  cannot continue no matter how serious the allegation.
  2. The public interest test: If the case does pass the evidential stage the CPS must then decide if it is in the public interest to prosecute. A balance has to be struck between the views and interests of the victim and the risks to that victim and to other individuals. The safety of the victim and any children will be a key factor for the CPS  to consider. If there are children in the household where there is alleged abuse the CPS will want to know about the effect it has had on them.

In part two we shall look at some to the practical problems that a Defendant will face if charged with a domestic violence offence . We will also look at some of the legal hurdles that you will face.

Rose & Dunn are specialist criminal defence and motoring law solicitors
  • Telephone: 01928 572030 (in office hours)
  • Telephone or text : 07739324381 ( any time )
  • Fax: 0870 4954998

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