Here’s a link to a story about battery charges against Donald Trump’s campaign manager being dropped.
What this story shows is the power of prosecutorial discretion. In other words, a prosecutor has enormous choices about what, if any, charges will be filed.
In my view this was never a particularly strong criminal case. It took place in a very crowded place, in a politically and emotionally charged atmosphere. Although the victim reporter said she had some bruising, it is hard to see how the brief touching shown in the video could have resulted in the discoloration of her arm that she showed the media. Yes, it looked like there was some unwanted touching in the heat of the moment, but I think the prosecutor correctly thought that this would be a difficult case to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury.
It’s often helpful to have a local attorney in such a situation reach out to the authorities in an effort to have the DA exercise prosecutorial discretion in favor of the defendant. We do that all the time, and sometimes get some excellent results.
This is particularly important in Domestic Violence cases where the victim does not want to testify. There is quite a bit of California Law, specifically California Code of Civil Procedure (CCCP) Section 1219, that protects victims from testifying. Many Domestic Violence cases are nothing more that a simple battery with a lot of emotional baggage attached. If the victim makes clear that he or she does not want to prosecute or testify, the DA will often exercise prosecutorial discretion and refuse to charge. Prosecutors want cases they can win, not emotionally driven calls to the police wherein the caller wishes she had never lifted the phone in the first place. It helps to have an attorney involved at an early stage of the proceeding.
If you have a case in Alameda County, CA, give us a call, let’s discuss your situation and come up with a strategy.