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Can an alleged victim drop domestic violence charges?

On Behalf of | May 3, 2024 | Domestic Violence |

Domestic disputes can sometimes turn into very heated events. In some cases, law enforcement gets involved and one of the parties in the dispute is arrested. If you have been arrested in this kind of scenario, there are some important points you must consider.

One of the most important things for you to realize is that once law enforcement gets involved and an arrest is made, the decision about whether to pursue charges or not is made by a prosecutor. This means that an alleged victim can’t choose whether they want to drop the charges. By putting the decision in the hands of a prosecutor, the law reduces the chance of victim intimidation.

Recanting or refusing to cooperate

While it’s not the same as dropping the charge, some alleged victims may change or recant their statement about a matter. But, making this decision could lead to criminal charges for an alleged victim, so they may be discouraged from doing so.

Alleged victims may also opt to stop cooperating with the prosecution. This may seem simple, but they can face criminal charges if they don’t comply with orders from the court. For example, if they don’t show up for court after being issued a subpoena, that could lead to legal trouble.

Domestic violence restraining order

In many domestic cases, the court will issue a restraining order. If this occurs in your case, you’ll be unable to contact the alleged victim. This means that you can’t even speak to them about the case, so if there was a massive misunderstanding that led to the police officers being called, there’s no way for you to try to rectify the situation.

The restraining order also means that you won’t be able to try to reunify with the alleged victim and possibly your children until the case is resolved or the restraining order is canceled. It’s critical to comply with the terms of the restraining order even if it’s difficult to do so. Failing to comply with the order can lead to more criminal charges for you.

Domestic violence cases are often complex and emotional. Anyone facing this charge should ensure they have a legal representative who can protect their rights throughout their case, given the complexities involved and all that is at stake.