El Paso, TX, residents may be interested in knowing that a husband and wife were taken into custody for domestic violence by Midland Police Department last week after assaulting each other with a knife and a Taser gun. The two had been arguing prior to seeing each other with members of the opposite sex at a club, according to officials.
If you are charged with a misdemeanor of violating an order of protection in New Mexico, the NM Supreme Court held that "knowledge" is an element of the crime. State v. Ramos, No. 33,217, June 27, 2013.
According to the New Mexico Court of Appeals, in State v. Maples, 2013-NMCA-052, No. 30,507, when a defendant seeks to introduce evidence to show his or her subjective apprehension of the victim-that the victim's violent disposition gave the defendant reason to fear the victim-the defendant may introduce specific instances of the victim's violent conduct. See Armendariz, 2006-NMSC-036 (When a defendant is claiming self-defense, his or her apprehension of the victim is an essential element of his or her claim. Therefore, under Rule 11-405(B), evidence of specific instances of the victim's prior violent conduct of which the defendant was aware may be admitted to show the defendant's fear of the victim."). Unlike the first aggressor issue, which does not require the defendant to possess knowledge of the victim's past violent acts, a defendant seeking to introduce evidence of the victim's violent disposition to prove his or her apprehension of the victim must establish that he or she had knowledge of the victim's past violent acts at the time of the incident. Id. Otherwise, the evidence would not be relevant to the defendant's subjective state of mind during the encounter and his or her belief in the necessity of self defense. See Baca, 114 N.M. at 671, 845 P.2d at 765 ("[I]f the defendant had no knowledge of the victim's violent conduct it could not very well have been a basis for his apprehension.")
Individuals who find themselves up against domestic violence or assault charges could face serious consequences, including incarceration and damaged reputations. Texans who are confronted with allegations of assault or domestic violence should familiarize themselves with their own legal right to a strong criminal defense.
Two El Paso parents are facing criminal charges following the death of their 2-month-old child. That's according to a report on the KFOX14 website on Nov. 20. The parents were charged under domestic violence statutes on Nov. 16 in the Oct. 9 death of the baby boy.
Recently, I wrote a blog entry describing how to keep 911 calls out of evidence in Domestic Violence prosecutions using the Confrontational Clause as stated in Davis and Crawford. It seems the El Paso County DA's office is now trying to use two new cases to get around Davis.
I recently posted a blog entry on fighting the issuance of a writ of attachment in a domestic violence case. It seems that as of late, the courts are now trying to get around the strategy.
When defending against domestic violence charges, it is imperative that your attorney makes a determination as to whether the state will be able to use the 911 tape as evidence. The way this is done is to determine whether the call is testimonial in nature.
If you practice in El Paso County, you may not know this, but the subpoenas issued in criminal cases involving domestic violence by the District and County Clerks offices contain language which inadvertently coerces a person into compliance. The subpoenas state that refusal to answer a subpoena could result in the person being arrested and / or fined. The subpoena cites Texas Civil Rules of Procedure 176.8 which authorizes punishment by contempt for failing to obey a subpoena. Specifically, Rule 176.8 states that failure to comply with a subpoena will result in a punishment of up to 180 days confinement and a fine up to $500. This language inclusion, as well as the punishment for failure to answer, is incorrect.
It's the day of trial, you are defending a client against a Domestic Violence / Domestic Violence charge, and the state doesn't have its subpoenaed witness (usually the non-cooperating spouse). The state announces not ready because of the non-compliant witness and then asks the judge for (1) a continuance and then (2) an Order of Attachment for the missing witness. Sound familiar?