In many criminal cases involving domestic violence offenses, prosecuting the alleged abuser requires the alleged victim’s testimony. That means if the alleged victim isn’t willing to testify and doesn’t want the alleged abuser prosecuted, the charges often have to be dropped.
But that isn’t always the case, especially when evidence of the purported abuse can be gathered elsewhere.
Prosecutors in the domestic violence case involving Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice say that they likely won’t need testimony from Rice’s wife, Janay, in order to convince a jury that Rice is guilty of aggravated assault for an incident that took place in an Atlantic City casino elevator.
Apparently, prosecutors have obtained security camera footage from the elevator at Revel Hotel Casino on Feb. 15 when the alleged assault took place. Part of the footage was obtained by a celebrity gossip website and showed Rice removing his wife’s motionless body from the elevator.
However, it seems unlikely that the case will ever go to trial as Rice applied for New Jersey’s pretrial intervention program when he pleaded not guilty last week at a short court hearing.
Additionally, if he doesn’t qualify for the intervention program, prosecutors have offered Rice a plea bargain that would allow him to avoid jail time.
The state’s pretrial intervention program is available to qualifying first-time offenders and allows charges to be dismissed outside of the formal court process. It is up to county prosecutors to determine whether a defendant qualifies for the program.
Individuals who qualify are required to remain on probation for a year, go through rehabilitative counseling and hold a steady job. The goal of the program is to provide rehabilitative services to defendants in effort to deter future criminal behavior.
The program is an excellent option for many first-time offenders in New Jersey that should be discussed with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Source: New York 4, “NFL Star Pleads Not Guilty to Assaulting Then-Girlfriend in New Jersey Casino: "I'm a Happy Husband",” Wayne Parry, May 1, 2014