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Why can’t domestic violence victims drop charges?

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Arguments between family members or people who live together can often become very heated. This can lead to some unfortunate circumstances, some of which may involve the police. If there’s any indication that domestic violence has occurred, probable cause may be established to arrest the alleged abuser.

Some people who are accused of domestic violence may want to try every avenue possible to get the charges dropped. While it may seem like turning to the victim to make this happen may be an option, it’s not.

Prosecutors determine charges

Criminal charges are levied by representatives of the government entity with jurisdiction over the matter. In most cases, this is the local prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor will review the evidence in the case to determine how to proceed. Once the prosecutor decides to charge someone with domestic violence, the victim doesn’t have any say in whether those charges are dropped or not.

Some victims may try to stand against the domestic violence charges by refusing to cooperate with police officers. While that’s their right, they could face consequences if they are violating court orders. For example, they must appear in court if they’re subpoenaed or they face the possibility of a failure to appear charge.

Caution is crucial

Defendants who are facing domestic violence charges are often forbidden from contacting the victim in the case. Many domestic violence cases involve an order of protection, which is issued by the court. Violating that order can lead to the defendant being arrested and facing more criminal charges. As such, speaking with the alleged victim about their approach to the case may not be an option to any degree.

Anyone who’s facing accusations of domestic violence should ensure that they work quickly to develop a strong defense. A legal representative can assist them with exploring the options for that strategy. By acting promptly and in informed ways, those facing charges can minimize the likelihood of incurring significant consequences.