Setting: present day, Los Angeles
I do know a little about the topic in my own country, but since I'm Dutch and the story takes place in the US, it's no help obviously, because I think the differences are probably very big. I've Googled pressing charges and variations, but all I could find was "it will inevitably go to court." So, that wasn't very helpful.
Itt's kind of hard to explain what my questions are. Therefor I'll give a little background.
So I have my character, June. She's engaged to Logan. Logan, however, is an alcoholic and abuses her. When June finds him cheating on her with the character Jessica, things get out of hand and he pushes her (June) off the stairs. Another character, Robbie, witnesses this and Logan threatens to punch him, aswell. Then Cooper, June's ex-boyfriend, shows up, sees a wounded June, gets mad and beats Logan up. Then old mr. Butler shows up, saying “What are all you kids playing at? Is this is a fight? Should I call the cops?” and Cooper goes “Yeah, tell us Logan, should he call the cops? Because we could tell them you abuse women. Or are you gonna back off, leave June alone from now on?” Logan decides to back off and Jessica flees, never to be seen again. So, eventually Cooper and June get back together (after some June angst who refuses to press charges against Logan) everything goes well with them, blabla, happy couple. Then June gets a phone call: Cooper's in the hospital, he was beaten by six men. June just KNOWS somehow Logan must have been behind this.
The police are/is (WHAT?) investigating Cooper's case. All they have is a description of one the men from Cooper, and some camerafootage of the beating. They don't have anything leading back to Logan. Yet.
So, now I want to have June decide to press charges anyhow, just to make Logan pay.
How would I go about this? She can just go to the police, right? Will she need evidence? Would Cooper and Robbie count as witnesses for evidence? Will it end up in court?
Also, I had this idea in mind:
Eventually the description given to the police by Cooper leads to a man, who confesses that he and his mates were paid by Logan to beat Cooper up. Would it be logical for him to confess, for example would his punishment be less if he does so? Would it be enough to prosecute Logan?
And another few questions:
If any of these cases would end up in court anyhow, would there be a jury? (I'm not sure if there's always a jury. We don't have one in the Netherlands ;))
What kind of punishment would Logan get? He is an alcoholic, has been DUI before. Would he been seen as non compos mentis/not sound of mind?
In the Netherlands, we have something called "conditional punishment."( I tried to find a translation but it tells me it's parole or probation and I don't think it's the same.) It means you won't get punished under a certain condition, in this case it would be if Logan goes to rehab, he won't have to be punished. Would he maybe have to do that, or would he have to go to jail or maybe do community service?
So eventually, there will be charges against Logan for a) beating up June and b) paying the men to beat up Cooper. Does that even make sense? And would both the cases be treated seperately or could they just press charges against him for assault in general?
Thanks so much if anyone bothers to read this all. Any info and/or advice will be useful :) I'm sorry if anything's confusing or spelled wrong, obviously English is not my first language. I also had to translate some terms from Dutch to English I wasn't sure of, so maybe it's not entirely right, sorry!
Thanks so much in advance!