Monitors were surprised to see what played out in DV criminal court last week. A defendant, due at 8:30 am, arrived at court just before noon. The judge vigorously assessed the veracity of the defendant’s claim that he was late because his car had broken down. What the judge did is an excellent best practice!
First, the judge demanded to see the defendant’s receipt for the tow truck. When the defendant couldn’t produce it, the judge asked to see the call to the towing company on the defendant’s phone. When the defendant couldn’t show the call, but claimed it was a certain towing company, the judge had his clerk call the towing company. The towing company stated that the defendant had worked at the towing company at one point. They had not towed the defendant’s car that morning.
The judge refused to vacate the bench warrant issued earlier that morning. The defendant was put in handcuffs and taken away.
Holding defendants in criminal dv cases accountable for their words and actions improves survivor safety. A big thumbs up to this judge!