Re: Jay Mariotti arrested for felony domestic violence
Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor
It tells us that he probably did something that fits the criteria for felony DV. Usually it's pretty straight forward on whether or not a DV is a felony. The aggravating circumstances vary from state to state, but they're usually pretty cut and dry. Did he have a prior conviction? Did he cause serious physical harm (rule of thumb: if hospitalization of the victim was necessary, there's usually PC for serious harm)? Did he have a deadly weapon that he used? Was the victim pregnant at the time? Etc. The hardest part of proving a DV usually isn't the aggravating felony factors, it's the underlying conduct itself.
BTW -- WMR is right on this. Proseuctors don't charge cases, the police arrest and the case is taken by the prosecutor for presentation to the grand jury. The grand jurors decide whether or not charges are brought and what those charges should be. Ultimately, grand jurors can decide to do whatever they want. Plenty of cases that could be felonies (thefts over $500, shoplifting where the clerk gets punched that could be a robbery) get sent back for prosecution as misdemeanors.
Of course, DV is a charge that has a lot of political charge to it. It generally doesn't go over well in the public when the police or the prosecutors are perceived as "soft" on domestic violence cases in general.
The prosecutor has every right in the world to ammend, add or subtract to the intitial charges before taking anything to a grand jury, though. Yes, grand juries can have the final say, but you're diminishing the discretion of a prosecutor to push for charges. Why do you think it's called "prosecutorial discretion?" The police may book someone on a charge, by the prosecutor has the final say of what charges to seek an indictment on.
"No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda