Criminal Domestic Violence Courts: Key Principles

Criminal domestic violence charges are challenging to prosecute and adjudicate. Domestic violence cases, most often charged as misdemeanors, often carry the risk of further harm from the offender. Victims may feel frustrated or powerless in the face of bureaucratic proceedings, while prosecutors might feel stymied by victims' unwillingness to cooperate. Judges who may not have specialized training in the dynamics of domestic violence often hear criminal domestic violence cases alongside other misdemeanors, such as drug-related charges or petty larceny. Without a targeted approach to domestic violence, outcomes in these criminal cases may be inconsistent at best, and at worst may further endanger victims. Specialized Criminal Domestic Violence Courts are a response to these challenges. These courts usually have one or more specially trained judges who hear domestic violence cases on a separate calendar

Federal Sponsor Agency: OVW

Provider: Center for Court Innovation

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