How can I help my children’s father without facing jail time myself?

My childrens father has choked me the other night. This is his 1st offense, and has never gotten in any legal trouble before. He has never abused me before that night. I am not making excuses for his behavior, however I know this is not the man ive known for the last few years. He has lost his career, drowning in debt, etc. prior to this incident. I did not want to press charges but the commonwealth has done so anyway. He is facing several felony charges, and i want to get him help. The commonwealth said if I do not testify then I too will face jail time. I would like fot him to take anger managment classes and/or counseling, but I do not want these serious charges or jail time.

Asked on October 11, 2017 under Criminal Law, Virginia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that it is not up to the alleged victim of a crime as to whether or not to file charges; it is up to the state. If there is enough evidence to support a conviction then the case will go forward, even over the victim's objection. The fact is that a case is not necessarily dismissed when a victim does not want to cooperate. Further, if your are subpeonaed to court, then you must appear. If you don't you risk both jail time and fines.

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