Our criminal defence solicitors are adept at dealing with victimless prosecutions. This is when someone is charged with domestic assault, but the alleged victim is not involved in the case at all.

Criminal defence solicitors Dewsbury

If you have been charged with domestic assault, speak to our criminal defence solicitors today. You can call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can also email us on enquiries@ashmanssolicitors.com or complete our Free Online Enquiry Form and we’ll be in touch soon.

What is a victimless prosecution?

Victimless prosecutions are also known as evidence-based prosecutions. It is when the Crown Prosecution Service brings a case against an individual for domestic violence, without the input of the alleged victim.

Years ago, if the police wanted to press charges for domestic assault, the alleged victim had to co-operate. However, the law changed in 2001. Now, the police can pursue an investigation, even if the alleged victim does not want them to.

The police will run a victimless prosecution if they believe –

  1. There is serious risk to the public
  2. The accused will be violent again

How does a victimless prosecution work?

Normally in criminal cases, the alleged victim’s testimony is of central importance. Yet in a victimless prosecution, the case will be presented to the court without any contribution from the complainant.

Instead, the prosecution will rely on a range of other evidence in an attempt to prove the accused’s guilt. This might include photos of the alleged victim’s injuries, bad character references and evidence from third parties, such as medical professionals or other witnesses.

If the alleged victim provides a statement and later withdraws it, the prosecution can also ask to present this as evidence. This is known as a ‘hearsay’ statement. They may also show things such transcripts of 999 calls made by the alleged victim and informal accounts given to police officers. This is permitted under the ‘res gestae’ principle.

Sometimes, the prosecution will even issue a witness summons, compelling the alleged victim to attend court. However, this is seen as a last measure.

Defending a victimless prosecution

If you have been accused of domestic assault or domestic violence, contact our criminal defence solicitors. It takes a specialist solicitor to know how to defend such cases, particularly where there is a victimless prosecution.

We can devise the best strategy in your case. Sometimes, it is even possible to call the alleged victim as a witness for the defence. This might happen, for example, if the prosecution is relying on third-party witnesses who misunderstood the situation.

There are many legal intricacies involved in victimless prosecutions – the principle of res gestae being one of them. This is ‘a statement made by a person so emotionally overpowered that the possibility of concoction or distortion can be disregarded’.

Often in victimless prosecution cases, it is necessary to argue against the res gestae principle. We can also argue that it would be unfair to use any hearsay evidence, and scrutinise the continuity of the evidence presented.

Criminal defence solicitors Dewsbury

If you are facing a victimless prosecution, speak to our criminal defence solicitors today. You can call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can also email us on enquiries@ashmanssolicitors.com or complete our Free Online Enquiry Form and we’ll be in touch soon.