Personal Injury, Criminal Law, Traffic Violations, and Family Law & Divorce

Domestic violence victims can’t drop criminal charges

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2023 | Domestic Violence

Relationships sometimes get rocky and contentious, but they shouldn’t ever get physical. It’s sometimes possible that accidental contact will occur. It’s also possible that someone will make false accusations of domestic violence. 

Once a victim reports a crime, they initiate a process that may ultimately lead to the prosecution of the alleged offender. However, the prosecutor, not the victim, decides what to do about the criminal charges. 

Understanding the system’s rationale

The primary reason for victims not having control in the case is that victims are sometimes intimidated or threatened so they’ll drop the charges. By taking away this possibility, there’s some measure of protection for the victim.

One important point to remember is that most domestic violence criminal cases come with a protective order that prohibits the defendant from contacting the victim. Trying to get a victim to drop the charges would be a direct violation of that order, which can lead to more legal troubles. 

The essential role of victims 

The voice of the victim is still vital in criminal proceedings. Victims often have opportunities to provide input, such as victim impact statements during sentencing. While they might not be able to drop charges, they certainly play an essential role in the justice process. In many instances, the victim’s participation in the case won’t impact the outcome because prosecutors are likely focusing on other evidence. 

Anyone who’s facing domestic violence charges should ensure they explore their rights and options for a defense strategy because focusing on the victim dropping the charges wastes valuable time. Working with someone who’s familiar with these matters is beneficial so they can review your options with you.