Page 26 - 2011 Guide to Family Violence Laws

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21
AFTER-ARRAIGNMENT (after the first court date)
What happens next?
After the arraignment, there will
probably be one or more court dates
scheduled for your partner’s case.
At these court dates decisions may
be made about the conditions your
partner must meet during the case,
what programs he should attend,
and whether a plea bargain is
possible.
Family Services may also schedule
interviews with both you and your
partner. Your interview and your
partner’s interview should not be
scheduled together or one right after
the other in case you do not want to
have any contact with him. You will
be notified of the interview time
either in court while you are there or
by mail after the first court date (if
you need to change the appointment
time, just call). It is important that
you go to this interview, so that the
Family Relations Counselor will
know what you want to happen with
the case. (If you have
not
been
arrested you are not required to go
to the interview.) If you miss this
appointment, you should call the
Family Services office right away
and reschedule the appointment.
The information you provide to
Family Services will be given to
other people in court and your
partner may find out what you said.
If you have any concerns about this
you should tell the Family
Relations Counselor. You can
also talk to a confidential Family
Violence Victim Advocate who can
help you.
What is plea bargaining?
In plea bargaining, the prosecutor
and your partner (or his lawyer)
talk about whether your partner
will agree to a deal in which he
will plead guilty to a crime. This
may involve pleading guilty to one
charge and having others
dropped, pleading guilty to a less
serious charge than the original
one, or pleading guilty in
exchange for a lesser punishment.
Your partner must agree to the
plea bargain. If he does, the plea
bargain eliminates the need for a
trial.
If there are plea bargain
discussions, the prosecutor must
notify you of any court
proceedings concerning the
defendant’s guilty plea if you
requested notification and
provided a current address. Even
if you did not request notification,
the prosecutor might want to
know what you think about a
possible deal, or might make the
deal without letting you know.