Assisting victims through the court process in domestic violence cases

The Association of Chief Police Officers guidance on investigating domestic abuse states that, "Positive action policies should be applied in all cases of domestic abuse to reduce repeat victimisation and protect victims". The robust attitude by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service in relation to domestic abuse cases to proceed to prosecutions through the criminal justice system, even if the victim does not want to support this, can of course protect victims by taking the pressure away from them. However, many people, who do not feel the need for government intervention in their intimate relationship, are left feeling powerless.

 

We are frequently contacted by victims, whose partner, whom they love very much, has been arrested following a heated argument and they find themselves, "caught in the system". Sometimes a neighbour calls the police, the domestic violence services, through whom the victim seeks help, may initiate police involvement, or the victim themselves may call the police. People find that, once there is police involvement and an arrest, they no longer have any say in how matters proceed. People are distressed to find that their partner is prohibited from returning home, or from contacting them, because of bail conditions, or because a Domestic Violence Protection Order has been made (again without their agreement). Victims can find that they are concerned about themselves facing a possible charge of Perverting the Course of Justice if they seek to retract (even a true allegation). They also then are required to attend any future trial in support of the Crown's case, even though they may no longer wish to support the prosecution. A lack of understanding of the system can leave people feeling that matters don't always turn out the way they had hoped.


HOW WE CAN HELP

 

We are able to assist the victim through the police station and Court process. We are knowledgeable about the Criminal Justice System and can support you through the process by, answering your questions, explaining to you how the system works, fighting for your rights, listening to your problems, informing you of your options, and giving you advice. In a Solicitor/client relationship everything you say is completely confidential; we cannot talk about your case with anyone, unless you give permission. This is different from other professionals who may pass on information you give to police. We also work within family law so can assist with concerns once Social services are involved if there are children in the family. Because of our knowledge of the system, we can be very effective in pressuring the system to get your voice heard. Please contact us in confidence if you need assistance.

Jane Wright - Senior Mediator

Congratulations to Jane Wright solicitor in our Family Law department on being awarded Senior Mediator status by the Family Mediators Association. Jane is also an advanced  member of the Law Society Family Law Panel, an accredited specialist member of Resolution and a qualified Collaborative Family Lawyer.

jane wright

Angela Piliero joins Mullenders

Mullenders are pleased to announce Angela Piliero a Senior Family Law Solicitor and Collaborative Lawyer joined our team on April 29th.

Angela Piliero


Angela is highly experienced in advising clients on relationship breakdown, financial settlements, divorce and children’s arrangements. Angela is based at our Richmond office but will also be available for appointments at our Chiswick and Central London Covent Garden offices.

Driving Licence Saved

One of our motoring clients can look forward to the New Year ahead with his job safe and his driving licence intact. He was charged by police with drink driving after they attended his home to breathalyse him some time after he last drove. His breathalyser reading was over the legal limit but he was frank with police when questioned, he strongly denied any wrong doing, stating he had a couple of drinks at home shortly after driving, and it must be this which took the  reading over the limit.  Our client was acquitted after we submitted persuasive expert witness evidence to the court from a toxicologist who calculated that given what our client and other witnesses confirmed, our client would have been driving within the legal limit at the time the police alleged.