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Criminal procedure for protection order violation Domestic Violence & Civil Orders

Discussion in 'Criminal Charges' started by Kaun, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Kaun

    Kaun Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Washington
    Washington state. Hi. I am going through fierce custody battle and my ex is trying whatever she can to get me incriminated. A protection order was issued against me based on false allegations. I sent a letter to her mother for Christmas talking a little bit about what is going on and my ex took that letter to a police officer she knows and he found probable cause for a protection order violation and I was charged with the crime.

    I have never been to criminal court. It started with the arraignment where my (temporary) public defender said to the judge "we do not want to argue probable cause”.

    Then I went to the pretrial where I said I would represent myself pro se. The judge strongly discouraged me to go without a lawyer but I feel that since there is zero complexity in this case, I admit that I wrote the letter and I am claiming it was not for my ex but for her mother-in-law, and since I absolutely cannot afford a lawyer and do not qualify for a public defender I am fine representing myself.

    Then I wrote a written response to the allegations and filed it with the prosecutor and the court. I was convinced that the prosecutor would drop the case based on my response. I talked to him on the phone and he said he would not drop the case and now I am scared. I felt very confident before hand that my letter could not ever be interpreted as a violation of the protection order but after speaking to the prosecutor I am not so sure anymore.

    Worse, my ex and I were allowed to talk about the child exchanges through a parenting website. She went to her favorite police officer and he now filed a second criminal charge for protection order violation based on the online website exchanges which I still believe were all about the child exchanges and the topics were discussed by both of us. Of course it is possible that my ex tricked me to answer to topics slightly departing from child exchange so she could get a criminal conviction and make getting full custody in family court easier for her.

    My questions are as follows:

    is it possible to go back to the arraignment and claim that I did not understand what was going on and that I want a second arraignment to discuss probable cause?

    My understanding is that in criminal court it has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt that someone is guilty for conviction. If I say that I did not write this letter for my ex, how will the prosecutor ever prove beyond reasonable doubt that I did? Similarly, I will claim in the second trial that the topics discussed were about child exchange and that the Family Court really had simple conversation about the child visits in mind when they wrote “topics of child exchange” into the protection order.

    Lastly, it is obvious that my ex is trying to incriminate me and harm me. Is there any way I can respond to this sort of persecution?


    Short of suggesting to get a lawyer, I am most grateful if somebody could explain to me the basics of criminal court procedure and what to do and how to interact with the court and prosecutor.

    Thank you very much
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    No responsible or ethical lawyer would attempt to give you an online primer regarding criminal procedure.

    In law school, I spent one year studying crim pro.

    The suggestion you wish not to hear is what you should pursue.

    If you refuse to disabuse yourself of the notion that you can defend yourself, prepare to become a basketball about to be dunked the way Shaq or Akeem used to drop those deuces.
     
  3. Kaun

    Kaun Law Topic Starter New Member

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    very helpful. thanks
     
  4. 4Justice_MD

    4Justice_MD Member

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    Hello there Sir: I can see your understanding of how TPO's work is very limited,but that's alright,we are here to help.
    The first thing you need to understand,is that once a TPO has been issued as it was,based on probable cause,no contact means,"NO CONTACT."This usually includes,by extention,other family members,and close friends of the victim,especially in regards to things like,trying to relay a message to the victim,or incite some kind of feud between the victim or the third party to whom the contact was made. Now based on what you posted here,I can well see why you Attorney did not want to "argue probable cause," as it does seem evident,it existed.
    The next point,with regards to representing yourself,don't you think,given your limited understanding of both TPO's,and Criminal Procedure,that,that might be a very foolish decision?

    In any case,we cannot give you some kind of "crash course" on here,that's going to make you an instant lawyer,and help you win your case.I would advise,you find some way to hire you an Attorney to represent you in this matter.
     
  5. 4Justice_MD

    4Justice_MD Member

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    you are right,but in the context of a TPO hearing,which is not quite a criminal proceeding,and not quite a civil one either,the "standard of proof," may only be what is known as by a "preponderance of the evidence," standard,which is just above,a finding of "probable cause."
    Putting this in more practical terms.In the context of a TPO Hearing,it could be a matter of your word against your ex's word,but if the Judge,just happens to believe her word over yours,you will be found guilty.
    this standard of proof,only allows for just a "slight" tilt of the evidence to be on one side of the other's favor.What standard of proof is used,will depend on the codes of Criminal Procedure,for the State of Washington,but again,I would find a way to hire an Attorney.
    Check this link out.What is the burden of proof in a restraining order case? - Northern California Attorney Wallace Francis
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  6. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    What Northern California has to do with Washington State I'll never understand.... o_O
     
  7. 4Justice_MD

    4Justice_MD Member

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    In quoting me,it apparent,you forgot this part of the post I added,when I posted the link.The link of course,was just to give the OP,some 'general guidance,hence the part about Washington,using a different standard of proof,but thank you for such great input.:D
    SMH:
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  8. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    So, why post ANYTHING about North California, when the state in question is Washington? SMH, indeed.
     
  9. 4Justice_MD

    4Justice_MD Member

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    Well number one,iI'm the one doing the posting so,it kinda my decision what I post,and how,I choose to post it,whether you like it or not,matters not to me.
    Number two,the link,I provided,as already stated gives the OP,some "general guidance,as to the kind of hearing his case will be presented in,and the "possible" "standard of proof,"that will be used in that hearing.
    Number three,most members on here seem to agree that this is what the forum is for,to give general legal guidance,and not "specifics" on the posters, legal questions,and concerns.I also concur with that,and respond accordingly.This is also why,we advise posters on here to consult with Attorneys,in their own jurisdictions,which I believe I did.
    Number four,I happen to believe that the link I provided him is very relevant,because,in my own jurisdiction,and numerous others,the TPO hearing is very similar to a Probation Revocation Hearing,in that the defendant's liberty is at stake,yet it is not treated as a "full" criminal trial,in which someone has all their rights,for example,a right to a jury trial,their right to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.These kinds of proceedings are called quasi-criminal,in that they have both criminal and civil aspects and procedures to them,and it is very likely,that Washington,follows this procedure,because it's practical,and just makes good common sense,rather than having a full fledged criminal trial,for someone who already had a restraining order against them.

    Now,I'm sorry if you don't like what I choose to post on here,start building a bridge,and "GET OVER IT". SMH,yes,very much "INDEED."
     
  10. 4Justice_MD

    4Justice_MD Member

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    Btw... if your so concerned that by posting the link on here,that the OP will somehow be confused,maybe even loose his case,Why don't you trouble yourself to look the Washington C.P Codes,and find the specific procedures regarding TPO's,and come back and post it,otherwise,quit criticizing me for contributing something worthwhile ,and likely,very relevant to the OP's concerns.so far,haven't seen you post anything yet of value,so by all means,look that up,and post it on here for him.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  11. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    Since you won't provide information to the OP that is germane to his situation, I will.
    RCW 26.50.110: Violation of order—Penalties.
    Request Rejected

    Your consistent abuse of commas has been noted. o_O
     
  12. 4Justice_MD

    4Justice_MD Member

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    WOW,!way to go there,just look at you.
    You think,you really answered the OP's questions,with the link you provided,and yet nothing in the law relates to anything he ask,asking how he should best defend himself,and the burden of proof that he mentioned,which btw,all relates to Criminal Procedure,not the statute on restraining orders.
    Just to be clear here,what you posted,has no relevance to what the OP was asking about regarding his hearing and defending himself,two,what you posted was Washington's penal statute on restraining orders,not the Criminal Procedures in Washington,on the hearing for violations of a restraining order(one can only wonder,weather or not you even know the difference.)
    Oh,here's number three.There was nothing in the statute you provided,that comes close to contradicting the link I provided,to show a difference between CP,in California,and Washington with regards to restraining orders.
    I just want to say,"Thank you," so very,very much.Where you came to this thread to discredit me as a fellow member on here,you ended up discrediting your own self,by proving absolutely nothing against my posts,
    I believe I'll click that "ignore" button now,as I don't think your worth one more second of my time on here,and there are other Posters on here who need my expertise.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  13. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    "She tricked me into violating the order" is among the worst excuses in the book. So is, "but no one explained to me that would be a violation". You were ordered no to communicate with your ex and presumably a third party closely connected with your ex (very common). You did it anyway. I can't imagine you just found yourself with a burning desire to catch up on old times with your former mother in law.

    You really need to consult an attorney immediately.
     
  14. 4Justice_MD

    4Justice_MD Member

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    He wants to go it alone,and represent himself,which is so not in his best interest.
     
  15. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

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    Does the protection order state communication about child(ren) is allowed?

    I would definitely look into your resources and at least find lawyers who do free consultations and see if you can find one you can afford.
     

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