Too often, victims of domestic violence are mistakenly arrested and criminally charged for protecting themselves from the violence committed against them by the perpetrator who has long been the abuser in a relationship. Unfortunately, these victims feel trapped in the abusive relationship are now more restrained within the criminal system. Rather than fight, many choose to accept a plea deal, and not allow the truth to prevail.
In Utah, even accepting a plea in abeyance to a domestic violence offense can have significant ramifications. A plea in abeyance, although not a conviction, requires you to pay a fine, to be supervised by either the court or probation, to undergo domestic violence treatment, and to risk a conviction if you are unable to complete the ordered terms. Also, a plea in abeyance to domestic violence is enhanceable, meaning that if you are accused of committing domestic violence in the next five years, the government can increase the penalty by one degree, which is significant.
Simply put, the abuser can use protections meant for victims as a sword against the victim and not as a shield as it was intended.
More importantly, the abuser can use the allegation against the victim in many ways. Knowing that a violation of the agreement will result in conviction, the abuser gains even more power and control over the victim. The abuser can also use the allegation to bolster a Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) action, gaining the upper hand for custody in a divorce proceeding, and to obtain a protective order against the victim. Simply put, the abuser can now use the protections that were meant for victims as a sword against the victim and not as a shield as it was intended.
All hope is not lost. Having a defense attorney experienced in the dynamics of domestic violence will provide you the ability to tell your side of the story. Greg Ferbrache has over 14 years as a prosecutor working with victims of domestic violence and other serious victim crimes, and has been recognized for his work in the domestic violence field. As a criminal defense attorney, Greg has successfully obtained justice for victims who have been mistakenly charged. If you have been falsely accused of a crime you did not commit, give Ferbrache Law a call (801) 440-7476.
http://ferbrachelaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/shieldlogov3.png00Greghttp://ferbrachelaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/shieldlogov3.pngGreg2019-04-08 21:16:172019-04-08 21:25:45When The Victim Is Charged
A two time combat veteran was arrested after being forced to leave a Mia Love rally. He fought and won.
“An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
Joshua Cameron, a two time U.S. Army war campaign combat veteran, was vindicated after being charged with criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct at a political rally for Mia Love, held at Thanksgiving Point. At the Mia Love rally, he was first prohibited from carrying the American Flag and when he sought to have his voice heard while at the Rally, Thanksgiving Point security immediately escorted Mr. Cameron out of the building. Although he complied with each of their demands, Mr. Cameron believes his own congressional representative at the time, Mia Love, had him thrown out and asked that the Lehi City Police Department cite him for criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct.
Knowing the importance of the matter, he hired Ferbrache Law to ensure his best outcome and to secure his constitutional rights at all costs. Zealously advocating for his client, Greg Ferbrache obtained a dismissal on the morning of trial from Lehi City. Mr. Cameron was exonerated.
The cost of Mia Love using the government to impose her will of suppressing one man’s voice because she may have disagreed with his opinion was to expend tax money in the form of law enforcement and prosecution. The cost to Mr. Cameron, who had earned his right to speak as an American, voter, and combat veteran, and was doing so at a political rally within the district he was to vote, were legal fees and the stigma of being treated as a criminal.
Mr. Cameron would like to go on record with the following statement:
“When I was escorted out of a political rally, where my Lt Governor, State Attorney General, Auditor, U.S. Senator and Federal Representative were, they thought they had seen the last of me. They thought they could bulldoze over my rights, which I had fought for in multiple war zones. We live in a time where our government throw babies in cages. Mia Love and the other elected officials may not want to hear the truth, especially during an election, but she shouldn’t be able to hide from the truth by using the government as a tool to suppress the truth. Since I spoke out at the Mia Love Rally on the evening of August 24, 2018, multiple children have died while in immigration custody. Poor people with no money and no power are being locked up on our southern border. The system tried to threaten me with six months in jail, and a criminal record. Because I stood up and had the money to hire a lawyer who would fight for my constitutional rights, the charges were rightfully dismissed. Without financial means, I too could be detained much like those on our Southern border if I had not challenged the system. To allow these people to be detained, thrown in dog kennels and treated with indignity and injustice, allows our very citizens to be treated the same way. To stand up for these people is to stand up for ourselves.”
Despite Mr. Cameron’s constitutional rights disregarded by his own elected delegates that evening, Mr. Cameron will again look toward having his voice heard. He encourages you to do the same.
http://ferbrachelaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/shieldlogov3.png00Greghttp://ferbrachelaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/shieldlogov3.pngGreg2019-04-08 21:38:232019-04-08 22:12:27Combat Military Veteran Vindicated of all Criminal Charges
SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Tabitha Bell, 18, now a college student in California, will come back to Utah to take advantage of a new law that gives victims of sexual assault a second chance to take their alleged perpetrators to trial.
House Bill 281 — Prosecution Review Amendments — which goes into effect on May 13, will give the Utah Attorney General’s Office authority to give a second look to first-degree felony cases that were vetted by police, but got no action from local prosecutors and never made it to trial.
Bell said she relived the pain of her assault in police interviews and in interviews with prosecutors. She then lived through more pain when prosecutors declined to take her case to trial — even though police felt it had merit.
“If you are going to put yourself through all that emotional trauma, you should have something come of it,” she said.
Paul Cassell, a law professor at the University of Utah and a former judge, said sexual assault cases will be most impacted by the new law.
Utah, he said, has a low rate of prosecution for sexual assault cases. He’s not sure why.
“I think part of it is prosecutors are just demanding a very high level of evidence to move forward. Higher than in other parts of the country,” he said.
Dr. Julie Valentine, a professor at Brigham young University and a forensic nurse who has been a leader in advocating for Utah sex assault victims and for more prosecutions, said her research found that in Salt Lake County alone, only 6% of sexual assault cases make it to trial.
Of those cases, only 6% lead to convictions.
That’s likely because prosecutors only take on the cases where they feel very confident they’ll get a conviction.
Valentine said sexual assault cases are challenging because, often, there are no witnesses and, often, the defense attorneys attack the victims during trial.
“We are not trying to imply they are easy cases, we are saying we need more prosecutions of these cases,” Valentine said.
http://ferbrachelaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/shieldlogov3.png00Greghttp://ferbrachelaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/shieldlogov3.pngGreg2019-04-05 03:43:152019-04-05 03:43:25College student will be among first to test new law's impact on sex assault cases