Can I drop the charge of domestic violence for my husband? 38 Answers as of May 28, 2013

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Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
Only the District Attorney can reduced charges, drop charges or refuse to prosecute a case. If the victim or complaining witness wishes to have the criminal case dismissed, s/he should talk with the District Attorney handling the case. It will be up to the D.A. to decide whether to dismiss the case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/16/2012
Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
Yes, but it may take some work. You may need a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/16/2012
James M. Osak, P.C.
James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
It's NOT up to you now. It's up to the prosecutor. Remember that the next time you want to involve the cops!
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/16/2012
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
You have to talk to the prosecutor. That person may drop the charges if you ask them but they do not have to and often won't since this is a crime where something happens and then charges are dropped again and again until someone is dead or in the hospital. They want to stop that type of pattern.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/16/2012
Miller & Harrison, LLC
Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
No. But you can let the prosecutor know that you want to drop charges and see what they do. They likely will not drop the charges just because you want that.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 9/16/2012
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
    You may but the State makes the final decision.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    You cannot. Once the police are called and the charges are brought, it is no longer up to you whether they are dropped or not. It is now up to the DA. That is not to say that you cannot influence this decision. If you are the only witness and refuse to testify the court will not be able to convict him. DA's typically do not respond well to this and may try to bully you into testifying. They may threaten to file false police report charges and to try to prosecute without you. If they give you any resistance, you should not fight with them. Unfortunately, you will have to have your husband hire a lawyer. A lawyer will know what rights to invoke and whether what the DA is saying is true or not. Tell the DA you would like to see the charges dropped and see what they say. They may accommodate you. If not, your husband will need a good lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You can tell the prosecutor your desires but it is up to him to drop the charges, not you.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Not likely, talk with the prosecution.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    You do not have sole decision making authority. You can tell the prosecutor that you would like to have the charges dismissed but the prosecutor makes the final decision.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Once you charge someone you are not allowed to drop the charges. That is up to the prosecutor and may also require the blessings of the court.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Natty Shafer Law
    Natty Shafer Law | Nathaniel Shafer
    No, the decision of whether to drop charges is up to the prosecutor. You can make it more likely that the prosecutor will drop charges by letting them know of your wishes, and also maybe telling them that you will invoke your spousal privilege to refuse to testify against your husband.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    No. The only one who can drop the charge is the prosecutor. This is a criminal case. Your husband is alleged to have violated a criminal statute (domestic violence). You are simply a victim/witness to the alleged crime.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Myles Hahn III Attorney at Law | Myles Hahn III
    Discuss it wih the State's Attorney or handling police detective or court/victim advocate.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    If your word is the only evidence supporting the domestic violence charge it will be drooped. If the police were called and you had bruising or if there is a witness then it will not be drooped at your request.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Langford Law Firm
    Langford Law Firm | Theresa Langford
    You can contact the ADA and relay your preferences, together with an affidavit of non-prosecution. You can also contact your husband's lawyer with the same information. There is no guarantee, however, since the state prosecutes, not the complaining witness. If there is resistance, talk with your husband's lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    You can try with the approval of the police and prosecutor and politely refuse to testify.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    You can ask the prosecuting attorney to dismiss the charge but only the prosecuting attorney can decide to dismiss.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A.
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A. | Donald L. Blaszka, Jr.
    In NH, people cannot "drop" or "press" charges against other people. Once the state through the police department and prosecutor's office are involved, the state controls prosecution and how the case is handled.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    Only the prosecutor can drop the charges.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Goodgame Law, LLC
    Goodgame Law, LLC | Jeffrey L Goodgame
    Once charges are filed, it is the prosecutor?s decision whether to recommend dismissal to the Court. However, if you let the prosecutor know that you do not want to testify or go forward with pursuing the charge then it may result in the prosecutor agreeing to dismiss the case.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    Perhaps. It depends upon the State Attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Once the police are phoned the case belongs to the prosecutor. You can express your desires, but the prosecutor decides what will happen to the case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    No. Retain counsel to advise you as to your options and the consequences.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    When talking about domestic violence charges, police and prosecutors vigorously prosecute those cases, even over the objection of the victim, and their tearful recanting and claims of mistake or misunderstanding about their repentant, apologetic abuser. They long ago grew tired of seeing the victims drop charges, only to be found later abused, beaten to a pulp or killed by the same abuser.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Law Office of James E. Smith
    Law Office of James E. Smith | James Smith
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/28/2013
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Nope. Once you called the cops the ship sailed. Prosecutors are trained to deal with recanting witnesses, so whether you want to go ahead now is irrelevant to them.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Raiser & Kenniff, PC
    Raiser & Kenniff, PC | Steve Raiser
    You can ask that it be dropped. Ultimately that is the decision of the state.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    No.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/28/2013
    Joneson & Michael, LLC
    Joneson & Michael, LLC | Rachel A. Michael
    In Colorado, the State and the State alone determines whether or not a case is prosecuted. Therefore, although "victims" are entitled to participate in the criminal proceedings, they have no power to either encourage a prosecution of the charges or a dismissal of the case.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Only the state can dismiss criminal charges but you can ask the prosecutor to do so.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    If you charged your husband with domestic violence, and you now want to drop the charges, you should tell the DA. However, be prepared for the DA to say he or she isn't dropping the charges and then proceed with a case against your husband. Many times, an abuser bullies the victim into dropping charges. Realizing that, DAs have now adopted a "no drop" policy in DV cases. If you do not wish to testify, the DA will subpoena you and ask you questions anyway.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You can retain an attorney to consult with the prosecutor regarding the case. If you try to talk to him he might threaten you with perjury or making a false police report, especially if you try to recant the accusations. The prosecutor is not going to allow you to decide whether a case is dismissed or reduced, but you may have an impact on the plea offer, Order of Probation, or sentence. You could also just have his attorney convey your wishes to the prosecutor, but that is a potential conflict of interest.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    No, it's solely up to the prosecutor.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    No you may not. In the State of Washington, only the elected prosecutor or his or her deputies can file or drop charges. You can make an appeal to the assigned prosecutor but be prepared to face significant resistance. Experts in Domestic Violence teach that victims recant for a number of? reasons. Most prominent is fear of the defendant. If you change your testimony, the prosecutor can use your prior statements to impeach you. Tell the truth and let the jury do its job.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/16/2012
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