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A 'nightmare': domestic abuse charge dismissed against ex-deputy

A point that is often quickly and correctly made regarding domestic violence matters in North Carolina and nationally is that domestic abuse -- where it is proven -- is an unmitigated and pernicious evil. Victims -- spouses, unmarried partners, relatives, children and others -- who suffer in myriad ways from physical, emotional and other forms of violence are often extremely vulnerable and immediately in harm's way. Where acts of abuse are being committed, they must be stopped.

Having said that, it is an ethical imperative to also note that allegations surrounding domestic violence are sometimes far from clear and that the public has a propensity to jump to conclusions before material facts relevant to an accusation are thoroughly presented and weighed.

In other words: Accusations are sometimes false and leveled for reasons that can range broadly from a simple desire to hurt another individual to an effort to gain some advantage in a family law or other legal matter.

As we note on a page of our criminal law website discussing family violence at the Charlotte Law Office of Christopher Connelly, the realm of domestic violence is often "far from black and white."

Such was clearly the case in one recently resolved legal matter from outside North Carolina, which we summarize for readers based on our view that it clearly commands broad relevance.

In short, a sheriff's deputy who was fired after a girlfriend accused him of choking her was ultimately exonerated in court recently, with the domestic violence charge being dropped and his case dismissed.

In fact, it was the deputy was made a 911 call for intervention, with police records indicating that the woman had come to his house and then chased him with her car after he tried to avoid a confrontation by leaving the premises. Following that, she told police about the alleged choking incident. The deputy was charged with felony attempted strangulation.

He is now free, with that freedom contrasting dramatically to the potential 15 years he could have spent in prison following a conviction. He says that what he endured "can only be described as a nightmare."

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