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April 2, 2013

Controlling emotions can prevent charges

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You do not have the right to make your friend, partner or spouse respond to you or take you back. The law sets limits on how far any of us can go in imposing our will on another person.

In the movies, it may be romantic to wear someone down with constant attention, but in real life, that looks like stalking, and the person can call the police.

LIVING IN FEAR

For some people, the concern goes beyond an emotional reaction to a painful situation. They are abusive and controlling to their family and intimate partners. The everyday life in their households may be filled with fear. Yet no one outside the home realizes this. 

Eventually, even though your partner or children may be afraid of you, they call the police to try to change your behavior.

Your reaction may be to try to talk the person into dropping the charges, but it is out of the victim’s hands. It is the district attorney, not the victim, who decides whether to reduce or drop the case when a person is charged with a misdemeanor or felony. 

The DA represents the whole community, not specific victims. It is the responsibility of law enforcement and the district attorney’s office to investigate, evaluate the evidence and decide whether to prosecute. 

They recognize that hitting someone and then apologizing does not make it go away. Threatening to kill someone with your hands around her throat is not erased when you let go. 

When a defendant’s behavior breaks the law, charges and an order of protection can be brought, even if the victim does not want them.

MANAGE EMOTIONS

Yes, there is a difference between the defendant who reacts emotionally to a bad situation and the one who uses abuse or violence as an ongoing means of controlling those he says he loves. 

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