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Can domestic violence victims drop charges?

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Criminal Defense

A fight with your significant other or your spouse got out of hand, and you’ve been arrested on domestic violence charges.

Right now, you’re concerned with what’s going to happen to your reputation, whether you’ll lose your job and what other potential consequences may come – including jail time. More than anything, you wish the whole thing could go away – and you believe that your significant other may feel the same way. 

It may seem like a good idea to ask, but it isn’t

First of all, if you’re facing charges of domestic violence, you’re almost certain to be subject to a protection order – and if you reach out to your significant other in violation of that order, that’s a crime. Even if the other charges against you are ultimately dropped or you’re acquitted of actual domestic violence, you can still be convicted of violating the protection order. That comes with a minimum jail sentence of three to 10 days (and much longer if you already have prior convictions for domestic violence). 

Second, your significant other cannot “drop” the charges any more than they can press them. That’s the job of the state, in the form of the prosecutor. While your significant other may ask the prosecutor not to proceed, that’s not usually a successful tactic. Because of the nature of domestic violence, the prosecutor knows that there are often a lot of complex emotional and financial ties between the alleged victims and the defendants, so they often plan to make their case without the victim’s support.

Finally, you could be accused of witness intimidation – especially if you’re wrong about your significant other’s feelings. If the alleged victim feels in any way threatened by you or coerced into recanting, that could lead to even more charges and bigger legal problems.

If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, it’s not wise to try to navigate the situation on your own. A strong defense can help you get through this.