ExPatriatePen wrote:Police and courts ALWAYS error on the side of caution in domestic cases. The worst thing a judge can do is to turn the accused back on the street and have them do something to the plantiff. It's much safer, from the judges career standpoint, to put sanctions on the accused and let the facts come out during trial.
It's S.o.P. even if the judge thinks the story is complete BS.
Charging someone criminally is never a CYA. Putting a restraining order on them? Sure. Civil penalties? Yes, when and where appropriate. Even arresting someone and putting them in police custody for a time I'd go with as a commonplace precaution. But actually filing criminal charges, putting someone into the criminal justice system, is most definitely not something that's done just to be extra careful with the accused. Not just because of all the other machinery that swings into motion with a live criminal case, but because filing charges willy nilly exposes the jurisdiction in question to potential civil, and possibly even criminal, liability.
Just look at Zimmerman's own recent past. The police did not charge GZ with a crime in the Martin case, despite the police investigator saying that he didn't believe GZ's story. (Not a domestic violence case, for sure, but there was a death involved. I'd think that would shift the calculus of erring on the side of caution a bit.) And police did not file charges against GZ just two months ago when his wife called 911 alleging that he threatened her and punched her father in the face. Last month, he apparently stuck a pistol target with over a dozen - poorly grouped, it must be said - bullet holes in it to her parent's house.
At his arraignment hearing today, the prosecutor also asserted in court that the week before this incident GZ choked his girlfriend. (As possible justification for a much higher bail) GZ lied on the 911 call, saying the fight erupted over a dispute about how they were going to raise the child she was preggers with; except she isn't preggers. He also was not wholly forthcoming about the number and types of weapons he had in his possession in the house.