Family violence events are regretful. No amount of wishing can undo what was said and done in the heat of the moment. Sometimes despite our best intentions, a situation spirals out of control as we are led by potent emotions that cloud our thinking.
The aftermath of family violence is perhaps more difficult to manage than the event itself. We’re left with questions about what the event says about ourselves as individuals, what it says about our relationships, and what we can do to repair the situation.
Conflict resolution in personal relationships is perhaps better handled privately, but when family violence leads to the police getting involved it becomes a matter of public record. When a police report leads to criminal charges, the court system now has a fixed place in your home life.
Police intervention is warranted in domestic violence situations. While female victims tend to be the focus of domestic violence awareness campaigns, the truth is anyone can become a victim of violence including men. Peace officers are trained to prevent things from getting worse.
While it’s the job of the police officer to remain neutral when responding to a domestic disturbance call, it is also their responsibility to enforce the law. The onus is on them to determine if a crime was committed with all the facts presented during the time on the scene.
Once the dust settles, getting domestic violence charges dismissed may be difficult, but it’s possible.
Can Domestic Violence Charges Be Dismissed?
Once things cool off, hindsight begins. The accused may object to what was said in the report. The assumed victim may feel the charges against their counterpart are unwarranted.
There are a number of reasons why the parties involved would feel that court remedies are unnecessary. Once the parties accept the reports are irrevocable and that a criminal charge has been initiated, they may now look for ways to prevent a conviction.
The fate of the criminal charges is in the hands of the prosecutor. Only they can make the decision to pursue or decline a domestic violence charge against the accused. The weaker the case, the more hope there is of having the domestic violence case dismissed.
It’s up to the prosecutor to evaluate the evidence and decide whether or not the case is worth the pursuit of a conviction.
Who Files Domestic Violence Charges?
Reports are filed by an interested party. This is typically the police, the assumed victim, or a third party (like a relative of the victim).
For a criminal charge to be filed, the prosecutor must build a case. If the report contains compelling reasons that a domestic violence offense occurred, they move ahead with criminal charges.
Who Can Drop Domestic Violence Charges?
While the police and the interested parties are instrumental in someone being brought up on charges, only a prosecutor from the District Attorney office has the authority to drop the charges. A judge can find a defendant not guilty in a trial which equates to a dismissal of the charges.
Can the Victim of a Domestic Violence Case Drop Assault Charges?
The assumed victim of domestic violence may want to be their own advocate and assert their own wishes on what happens with the case, but they do not have the power to drop the charges. It’s not like a civil case where the petitioner can drop the case.
Once it is found that a criminal act occurred, it’s up to the state to seek justice in the matter.
The state must determine whether or not the allegations are worthy of further action. If they find the case isn’t strong enough to endure a criminal process, they may agree to drop the charges.