Monday, July 13, 2009
Domestic Violence cases in Second Judicial District Court
Lots of clients ask the question: if the alleged victim does not want the case prosecuted, can they just dismiss the case? The problem is that the alleged victim is only a witness, and, since they are not the prosecutor, dismissal of the action is not performed by them. However, there are all sorts of other issues that arise that could force a prosecutor to dismiss a domestic violence case. For example, prosecutors have an ethical duty to do justice, not just prosecute a case. In turn, when a case lacks substantive evidence, they often are required to dismiss a case. Prosecutors represent all of us --they represent the State of New Mexico, not the alleged victim, the defendant, or other community members distinctly. There is a big difference in the law between proof and evidence, and where that line is drawn dictates the outcome of many cases.