How can you drop a charge on your husband for domestic violence? 73 Answers as of July 08, 2013

If you made a police report about your husband and want to drop the charge is it best to go to court or not go?

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Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
You cannot drop charges; only the State can dismiss charges. You can make your opinion known to the prosecutor and you can cooperate with defense counsel to help him.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 1/16/2012
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
I cannot tell anyone to disregard a subpoena. You are not the one who presses the charges or decides whether to file a case or dismiss the case. The prosecutor makes these decisions. You should definitely discuss your wishes with the prosecutor.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 1/9/2012
Law office of Robert D. Scott | Robert Scott
I cannot advise you not to go to court, but if you are the state's only witness, the state would need your testimony to get a conviction. A wife cannot be compelled to testify against her husband. However, if the state has other witnesses, they may still proceed with the case.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 1/9/2012
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
Whether a charge is dropped prior to a formal court-proceeding like a trial or motion to dismiss depends on the prosecutor, usually. The prosecuting attorney has a lot of authority to dismiss a charge. However, these issues are fairly common in Domestic Violence cases. If, as the victim, you have any concerns, you should talk to the prosecutor.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/8/2012
Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
If you are subpoened, you need to appear or risk being found in contempt and going to jail. Technically, it is up to the prosecution to file and drop charges. You can offer your input and your desire to drop the charges, but they can and sometimes do proceed without a victim's consent. Most of the time, however, prosecutors don't like to proceed without the victim's cooperation.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/4/2012
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law | Michael Maltby
    An alleged victim cannot just have a case dropped. It is entirely up to the prosecutor. The question of how to proceed in these types of cases is very nuanced. Your husband needs to confer with an experienced attorney to best ascertain how to proceed based on the particulars of his case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/3/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Well they can froce you to go with a subpoena, however the prosecutors willl listen to your wishes. They often will work out a deal that if the person gets anger management then there will be no conviction. THey want to make sure it does not happen again. They have seen cases where the police are called, the person arrested, the other drops the charges and then it happens again and again and again. They want to break this type of cycle.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/3/2012
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    If you receive a subpoena, you have to go to court. If there is no subpoena, stay away from the courthouse. Best thing both of you can do is hire him a lawyer to present the defense (keep the cops from saying Wife told me XYZ) and hire you a lawyer who will show up and assert the 5th amendment if you are under subpoena so you do not have top testify.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 1/3/2012
    Adesina Law Office, P.C.
    Adesina Law Office, P.C. | Adebayo Adesina
    This is a very delicate question. You need to hire a good criminal defense lawyer that will be able to evaluate the circumstances and advice you accordingly. It depends on the State Attorney and how serious the nature of the charge was. If you don't go to court, the case may be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/3/2012
    Law Office of Christopher G Humphrey PC | Christopher G Humphrey
    You may request that a charge be dropped, but District Attorneys make the discision to drop the charge. Many victims ask that a charge be dropped and the DA chooses to go forward against the wishes of the victim.
    Answer Applies to: Wyoming
    Replied: 1/3/2012
    Burdon and Merlitti
    Burdon and Merlitti | Adam Van Ho
    It depends on the city/county it happened in, but if you are subpoenaed, you need to go to court or you will risk a warrant being issued for your arrest. In some cities/counties, the prosecutors and courts will honor an alleged victims' wishes about dropping charges, especially if she/he says that it was a lie. In some of those locations, they may charge the lying party with a charge like falsification or perjury (if the alleged victim testified before the grand jury). They may also proceed with the case against the victims' wishes if the evidence (i.e. bruises, 911 calls, scrapes, other witnesses) show the the assault most likely took place. As these type of situations tend to be very fact-specific, you and your husband should consult with an attorney about the details of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 1/3/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    If you receive a subpoena you must appear in court on the date and time that you are ordered to so so. A subpoena is not an invitation it is a court order. You have an absolute right to not testify against your husband (spousal privilege). I suggest that you have an attorney to assist you with this matter.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 12/30/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    It is strictly up to the prosecutor as to whether he wants to drop the charges. he does not have to drop them even if you tell him you want to. However you should certainly tell the prosecutor you want the charges dropped and he may drop them or he may require you to tell that to the judge and the judge will decide.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/30/2011
    Myles Hahn III Attorney at Law | Myles Hahn III
    If charges were formally brought against him, then you need to speak to the States Attorneys office. Contact your local office. They will usually present the available alternatives. If you just ignore court, a record is created. This could work against you if something else bad happens.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/30/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    You can't. It is up to the prosecutor's office whether or not to press charges. However, if you are the only witness to the events such that your cooperation is required to "make the case", and you are refusing to cooperate, then they will likely have to drop the charges. On the other hand if your neighbors heard the fighting, the police showed up and found you with a black eye, etc then the prosecution likely has enough evidence to move forward even without your cooperation. Moreover, the prosecution can subpoena you and force you to take the stand. You can, however assert spousal privilege so that you are not required to testify against your husband (the "marital harmony" testimonial privilege).
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 12/30/2011
    Law Office of J Edward Jones | J Edward Jones
    If you have reported a crime, then it would be up to the prosecutor as to whether the case will be dropped or not. If you feel that a crime was not committed, or you just want to have the case dropped, then you should contact the prosecuting office. That will either be the District Attorney or the County Attorney. If they decide not to drop it, then they can proceed, even without your consent.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 12/30/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    If you don't cooperate with the prosecution than they might not be able to prove their case without you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/30/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    A criminal charge is brought by the prosecuting attorney and can only be dismissed by the prosecutor. If you receive a subpoena to appear in court, you must attend. If you do not want the charge to go forward, you can talk to the prosecutor but your desire is not the controlling issue.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/30/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Talk to the prosecutor handling the case when it comes up in court. You did not provide enough information to make a determination if the case would be dropped by the prosecutor. Remember, you are not the plaintiff with the power to dismiss a case, but merely a complaining witness, and if the charges are serious enough, you could be issued a bench warrant for your arrest if you fail to appear in court.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/30/2011
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    Many prosecutors make it a policy not to drop domestic violence charges even if the alleged victim wants to. I recommend speaking with the prosecutor and finding out what his or her policy is.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/30/2011
    The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones
    The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones | B. Elaine Jones
    Dear Mrs. - You should go to Court. Depending on the circumstances, if you tell the Judge that it was a misunderstanding they may drop the charges. However, I would not lie because the Judge will be upset if he knows you are lying and potential have you arrested for perjury. If alcohol or drugs were involved, let the Judge know that your husband does not normally act this way etc. If this is a first offense for your husband, and you chose not to go to Court, he likely will be put in a Pre-trial Intervention program and ordered to go to anger management classes. If it is not his first offense, more serious consequences are probably going to happen to him. If he has a prior record regarding domestic violence this will definitely not be dropped.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/30/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    It is not quite that simple. There are a few strategies which can assist to get the charges dropped. However, you will need to hire an attorney, or perhaps two (one for both the husband and the wife) in order for the strategy to work. It is not up to the victim to just decide to drop the charges.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Ayodele M. Ojo & Associates
    Ayodele M. Ojo & Associates | Ayodele Mayowa Ojo
    Domestic Abuse is one of the most serious offenses in Minnesota. The system has also been abused because sometimes, people get angry and get the police involved and then the whole situation is blow out of hand. Now, you need to know that the matter is now between the State and your husband, and you have no power to just drop the charge. However the State will need you as a witness to convict your husband unless there is another means of convicting him by other evidence such a video recordings, audio recording , 91 calls, eyewitness e.t.c If you let the prosecutor know, you will not be in Court, you may be subpoenaed and be forced to come to Court , but if you play it smart,and the matter is set for trial and they think you will come to Court and be a witness and you fail to show up, the case may be dismissed. but if the Court postpones the case and issues an order for you to show up in Court, it is all well. Remember, it all depends on your testimony. If it is clear that you exaggerated the situation because you were mad at your husband and there was actually no abuse, the case will be resolved in your husband`s favor. However, if there is evidence of injuries, like photographs, hospital visit, records, It may become more messy. You may want to get a criminal defense attorney to evaluate the case and see what evidence the State have against your husband, he may end up with a plea bargain, if it is reasonable.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    The Law Offices of Laura A. Walker | Laura A. Walker
    Its very difficult. In a domestic relationship when there are allegations of violence or other crime the State will often prosecute even with an uncooperative victim Your best chance is to contact the DA and let your wishes be known or testify at trial in hopes of an acquittal. I have never seen a court throw charges out after a preliminary hearing.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Two possibilities: If they cannot serve you they have to dismiss the case BUT they usually can serve you. Other idea: Go to a lawyer and hire him/her. They can contact the DA and explain your testimony would create 5th amendment problems for you. He/she does not have to discuss what they are BUT implicit in what the lawyer is saying is that some of the statements you made to the cops were not accurate. So if you testify as the police report is written you are perjuring yourself and if you try to explain the report you can be charged with filing a false report. The problem is that DAs take the position that you are not the victim. The People of the State of California are the "victim". What a crock of poop. Anyhow, the above advice is conditioned on the fact that you did make some false statements in the police report. This is quite common when you are frightened and upset. So if you can't do number 1, do number 2. Good luck. Tell hubby if he ever beats you again you will see to it that he is prosecuted and you will be the star witness.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Dailey
    Law Office of Michael E. Dailey | Michael E. Dailey
    The decision to drop a criminal charge rests with the prosecutor not with the victim. In a DV case there will be a very close look at the request and reason why a victim may now want to have it dropped. Other than the fact that the event just did not occur, there may not be many reasons for the prosecutor to dismiss it. If the victim says she was untruthful in making the report, she may be charged with making a false report. Despite the victim wanting or even demanding the case be dropped, that may not be the result. A refusal to appear in court after being properly subpoenaed can result in a contempt charge against the reluctant witness. Once filed, a case can take on a life of its own. These cases can be like pushing a large snowball up a steep hill gathering more snow and weight as you go.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    DeVito & Visconti, PA
    DeVito & Visconti, PA | John E DeVito
    In Massachusetts one spouse cannot be forced to testify against the other spouse. The District Attorney controls the prosecution of the case; but, most District Attorneys will not force a victim to testify. In this case the wife can refuse to testify and the District Attorney has no say. Without further evidence the case shall be dropped. The ideal situation is to have an attorney represent the wife's interest. If she cannot afford an attorney then have her speak to the defense attorney of the husband and the assistant district attorney. In this case she should appear in court on her husband's behalf.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    The police and prosecutors are tired of women who accuse their husband or boyfriend of Aggravated Harassment or Assault and then want to "drop the charges". The decision is not your to make and if you do not show up in court they might pressure you or even threaten you. The best way to handle the situation is to retain an attorney to relay your wishes to the prosecutor. Very often if you were not injured he will be allowed to plead to a violation with a 20 week Domestic Violence course. If he has anger, maturity, or substance abuse issues those should be addressed in counseling or you will find yourself in the same position in the future. If you lied to the police to get even with him you should let the attorney know that fact. Since I do not know the facts and circumstances of the case I cannot give you specific advice, but if you are in a bad relationship you are not going to be able to ":fix it" It will be violent or meaningless unless you are both intelligent people who know how to compromise and how to work things out without shouting, manipulation, or abuse. Women never want to leave the father of their children unless it gets really bad, but sometimes that is the only solution. Poor people cannot afford counseling but they can go to their priest or rabbi for advice. They can talk to counselors at various public agencies and even speak with relatives to get advice and guidance. Your attorney can address the Order of Protection and the issues of where he can live while in counseling. If all he did was verbally abuse you and it never happened before you may be fine, but if this was a serious assault then he must learn not to strike a woman, especially his wife.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Robert Valles and Associates P.C.
    Robert Valles and Associates P.C. | Robert Valles Jr.
    There are a few ways to try, but none are guaranteed. You can go down and talk to the DA and ask to drop it or do Ann affidavit of non prosecution. But the case is out of your hands now and and in those of the prosecutors. The state does not like to drop assault of family member cases. Not showing to court on your part I'd not needed by the state till trial, and they can always subpoena you to show.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    An individual cannot simply drop charges against a spouse for DV. The crime is considered a crime against the People of the State of CA. The charges are brought by the DA for the People. The alleged victim can make their wishes known to the DA, they can even decide not to assist in the prosecution, but the decision to charge or drop charges is strictly up to the DA. As far as going to court, if the spouse is properly subpoenaed then they must appear or face contempt of court charges. If, however, they are not properly subpoenaed then they do not have to even make an appearance. The lack of a victim testifying often makes it impossible to proceed. To be sure of their rights, the alleged victim should consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber | Michael R. Garber
    You should talk to the prosecutor and tell him you do not want to go forward with the complaint. He will require that you sign a reluctant witness affidavit, and if you make a second complaint later he probably will not prosecute because of your failure to pursue the first one.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    If the case is in court you need to talk with the DA about droping the case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    You should hire an attorney. Once your husband, or anyone else, is charged it is not Sue Smith v. John Smith. It is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts vs. John Smith. The significance here is that it is no longer your call what takes place. It is up to the District Attorney's office and they are unlikely to drop the charges unless you somehow assert your privileges against testifying. A lawyer could help you with this, without getting YOU in trouble for failing to appear or failing to cooperate. The DA could even prosecute without your consent or testimony if anyone else saw the incident or if you went for medical treatment. You can always try it without a lawyer first and if they are unwilling to drop the charges, then hire a lawyer. However, be careful. You do not want to change your story either since they could have you charged for filing a false police report if you change your story and say it never happened after saying. If you just do not appear, the court is very unlikely to drop the charges and you could end up with a warrant for YOU to appear.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Flood Lanctot Connor Stablein, PLLC
    Flood Lanctot Connor Stablein, PLLC | Paul J. Stablein
    Unfortunately, once a defendant is charged by way of a complaint drafted by the prosecuting authority, the decision whether to go forward on a criminal prosecution lies solely with the prosecutor (whether it is a City Attorney or a County Prosecutor). What that means is that the complainant in a domestic violence case (you) are merely a witness in the case of the People of the City or State v Your Husband. The prosecution ultimately will issue a subpoena for you to appear in court. If you are personally served with a subpoena, you must appear or be subject to penalty by the court. If you are called to the stand and swear to tell the truth you must testify truthfully or be subject to perjury charges. The only reason you may refuse to answer questions while you are called to testify is if, by answering the question, you will admit to committing a crime; in that case you have the right to remain silent guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment. Therefore, in the end, it is not your decision as to whether or not your husband is prosecuted for the domestic violence allegation, it is up to the prosecutor now.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    THE LAMPEL FIRM
    THE LAMPEL FIRM | ERIC LAMPEL
    Call the DA and ask them to drop the charges. It is up to them, they may or may not agree.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Aaron Black Law
    Aaron Black Law | Aaron Black
    You cannot just drop charges. Your husband is now being prosecuted by the state. Your best option is to call the prosecutor and tell them you no longer want to press charges and you do not want to testify.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Law Office of Aaron M. Goldsmith, PC | Aaron M. Goldsmith
    In order to "drop charges," the complaining witness must go to the police. However in New York, once charges are brought, only the prosecutor controls whether the case will continue or not.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    When you made the police report the state took over as the complainant. You can let the prosecutor know what you want but you do not control his/her actions. You will likely be subpoenaed (ordered) into court. If you do not honor the subpoena you will likely be held in contempt of court. This can result in a jail term. In short, the state can compel your appearance, but it cannot control your testimony.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Thomas C. Brandstrader Attorney At Law | Thomas C. Brandstrader
    If you are subpoenaed you must appear in court as it is a court order. It is best not to involve the police in marital dispute unless there is violence and if there is violence than the marital relationship should be terminated.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Todd Landgren, Professional Law Corp.
    Todd Landgren, Professional Law Corp. | Todd Landgren
    There is no clear cut answer. If you go to court, you could be subpeoned. Judge or prosecutor probably wouldn't talk to you anyway. Your husband should get a lawyer who can discuss restraing order and what you should or could do. Don't try and do this yourself. If you made false statement to police,you could be prosecuted. Your role CAN be helpful but you need legal guidance on how that should be done.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin | Daniel K Martin
    First of all you can't drop charges, only the prosecutor can do that. Secondly, you have the right to refuse to testify if you are the alleged victim. The worst thing you could do is not show up to court because do not have the right to refused to respond to a subpoena or a court order. You should contact a criminal defense lawyer to discuss the best way to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    You can contact the prosecutor's office and indicate to them that you do not want to have the charges go forward. They do not have to agree to that and can try to proceed without you, but it makes their case very difficult. You do not have to go to court unless you are subpoenaed, which you likely will be.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | David C. Ayer
    Your husband needs a criminal defense attorney. Once criminal charges have been filed the decision to prosecute or not is entirely in the hands of the state. Many states recognize an immunity of a spouse to testify against a spouse, therefore you may be able to refuse to testify. Depending on what was said to the police by both you and your husband and what of those statements actually made it into the police report, your testimony may not be necessary for the prosecution of the case. Follow the advice of the defense attorney regarding whether or not to testify in court.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    The Purnell Law Firm
    The Purnell Law Firm | Simon Purnell
    When the police receive a domestic violence report in most jurisdictions it will be assigned to an investigator who specializes in those cases. Whether the charge or report can be dropped depends on the policy of that jurisdiction (or even the agency). For example, some counties have the sheriff, police department, constables, DPS and other local municipal agencies that may be called out. Those agencies may have different policies on whether an affidavit of non-prosecution is sufficient to drop the case or whether it needs to wait until the District Attorney's office accepts or rejects the case. What is consistent, though, is the automatic requirement of time in jail for the accused person that is commonly referred to as the "cool down" period.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    The victim of a crime cannot "drop" charges because a citizen cannot "charge" anyone. The authority to bring and dismiss charges rests with the prosecuting attorney in the county where the offense is alleged to have occurred. Legally, the alleged victim is simply a witness and must respond to a subpoena. The prosecutor's office may entertain what the victim has to say but the dogma of domestic violence is to discount a victim's statement if it is different from what the victim told the police. That is because domestic violence victims are routinely threatened to change their stories by the abuser. The best the victim can do is to get in touch with the assigned domestic violence advocate and tell them the truth. Be prepared to explain why you are recanting and be sure to tell your husband's attorney the truth along with the prosecutor and the jury.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    Go to Court as the charge will not be dismissed unless you tell the judge you are dismissing voluntarily and no one has forced you or threatened you to drop it.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Rizio & Nelson
    Rizio & Nelson | John W. Bussman
    Unfortunately, that's not your decision. You can cooperate with your husband's attorney to help coordinate his defense, but don't expect the DA to simply drop the charges at your request.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    You cannot drop charges, only the district attorney can drop the charges.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law | Jason Overton
    You can refuse to go to court, or refuse to testify, but that doesn't necessarily end things. In domestic violence cases, the prosecution can go forward even without the victim's cooperation, although it may make it more difficult for them to get a conviction.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    You can't. And that can be a real problem. You may want to contact your husband's lawyer about your desire to drop the charges. More importantly, you probably want to speak to your very own criminal defense attorney about your legal rights and options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi | Elliott Zarabi
    It's best to hire an attorney. I have a case just like this right now, and once your report is made, they don't go back on it. The reason is that battered wives always do that. And, to say you lied to the police is a crime, so don't go down that route.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    John P Yetter | John Yetter
    Once charges are filed, they belong to the State. The victim of a crime is not a party, they are a witness to a crime. While victims have certain rights beyond that of a normal witness, they do not have the ultimate say in the continued prosecution. What obligations you are under depend on what papers you were served (subpoena vs. notice to appear). Much of the process is also dictated by local rule, as each county has its own rules. It would be best if you consulted with a lawyer who is familiar with the local practice and who can advise you on the papers you were served.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Rhoades & Miller, LLP
    Rhoades & Miller, LLP | M. Jason Rhoades
    No attorney would ever advise you not to go to a court hearing that you have been subpoenaed to. That would violate all sorts of ethics rules. If you want to get the best outcome for your husband, you need to help him get an attorney who can work with him to fight the charges he is up against. You should also let the prosecutor know that you do not wish to pursue the charges, but once the charges are filed, the prosecutor will usually push the case forward whether or not the victim wants to proceed. It happens quite often that a victim changes their mind after the fact. That doesn't stop the case from going forward.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Orent Law Offices, PLC
    Orent Law Offices, PLC | Craig Orent
    It's not that simple. You can contact the prosecuting agency and disclose your preference not to prosecute your husband, but ultimately it is up the them to decide what to do. As to whether you should appear in court, that is generally up to you, unless you are properly subpoenaed in which case you have been served with a valid court order. If you violate the court order by not appearing you could be subject to arrest and contempt. However, depending on what court the matter is in, the seriousness of the charge, who the prosecutor is, etc., the case "might" be dismissed if you fail to cooperate or appear. But you should consult counsel directly if in fact you are subpoenaed and don't want to appear. I'm not here suggesting that you ignore the subpoena.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    That depends on a lot of fctors not present here. If you are thinking of not responding to or want to avoid testifying, you need some specific legal advice. You husband's attorney will not provide it. He cannot for a number of reasons beginning with potential ethical problems.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    "Pressing" or "dropping" charges isn't up to you. The prosecutor's office makes that decision. You can certainly attend court and/or let the prosecutor know that you do not want the charges to go forward, but it may fall on deaf ears. You can also contact your husband's attorney and let them know.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Myles A. Schneider & Associates
    Myles A. Schneider & Associates | Myles Albert Schneider
    Dropping the charges can be more difficult than you think. If the prosecutor is aggresive, he will subpoena you to testify even if you do not want to push the matter. The best strategy is to get a good lawyer for you husband.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    You cannot drop charges in a Domestic Violence case as you are not a party to the action. The case is the People of the State of New York against your husband, so only the State can drop charges. You can however make your feelings known to your husband's lawyer, the prosecutor and the judge and based on the allegations and history of abuse, if any, hopefully they will agree to dismiss the case.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    You can't. This is a criminal matter. As such, you are the victim/witness to a crime that has been committed. Once in the hands of the police, the only person who has the authority to decline or dismiss the case is the prosecutor, or the judge. Even if you say you want to drop the charges, that you made a mistake, or it really didn't happen, the prosecutor is likely to proceed because these are excuses that are often used because the victim is afraid of the consequences of her reporting. If the incident truly did not happen and you filed a false police report, you can be charged. If you refuse to go to court, and your are subpoenaed, the prosecutor could request that the court issue a material witness warrant, whereby the police could go out and find you and bring you to court. You are in a very difficult situation. Domestic violence is a very serious, and there is too much of it in our society. Such being the case, these cases are generally very vigorously prosecuted. If you still have concerns, I suggest that you consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    First, it is a common misconception that an individual may press charges or drop charges. that is not the case. Once a police report is made, charging decisions are made by the prosecutor. Only the prosecutor may charge a case or dismiss charges on a case. Moreover, the case may proceed forward even without the victim's blessing. Second, the accused person should hire legal counsel. That attorney may acquire evidence, including potential statements from the victim and witnesses which weakens the prosecution's case.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Ascheman & Smith | Landon Ascheman
    It is best for you to inform the prosecutors and defense attorney that you do not wish to proceed on the charges. However, once the police report is made, you do not have the right to drop the charges.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Did this happen or is this a hypothetical. If it happened you need to retain counsel and get the benefit of attorney / client privilege for an answer. If it is a hypothetical I do not care to get involved in a hypothetical.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    Law Office of James E. Smith
    Law Office of James E. Smith | James Smith
    Request a dismissal through the prosecutor.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/2/2013
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A.
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A. | Donald L. Blaszka, Jr.
    In New Hampshire, people do not "press" or "drop" charges. When the police are called to investigate a potential offense, the officers conduct their investigation and determine whether or not probable cause exists to arrest and or charge a person. Therefore, you cannot "drop" a charge - that decision is within the sole discretion of the police department prosecutor or county attorney's office.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    In Washington you cannot "drop a charge" by recanting. Only the state can dismiss a case. It is best to go to court when you are summoned to do so but you may contact the prosecutor or victim advocate and advise them that you do not wish to pursue the matter. They will decide whether or not to dismiss the case based on your wishes.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    In my experience, the best method is to have both spouses go in a united front with a lawyer for the accused to withdraw the charges although some Anger Mgmt. class or other minor concession to the police and ADA may be arranged.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law | Mark A. Broughton
    That is a troubling situation and, perhaps surprisingly to you, it happens all the time in court. Once charges are filed the "victim," especially in a domestic violence case, has little or no say over how the case proceeds. It is a common misconception in any criminal prosecution that the victim "presses charges" and can decide later not to do so. It is now the District Attorney who has filed the charges who is in control of the case. The truth is, you can't simply drop the charges. Many related issues arise in this context. For example, often is the situation where the "victim" of domestic violence does not want to respond to a subpoena to testify, or give testimony, or wants to change his/her story in court. When these things happen, the court will make sure that he/she has an attorney to advise him/her about the consequences of doing so. At the outset, before you do anything you should consult with a good criminal defense attorney who can lead you in the proper direction.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You have no choice, and it is out of your hands. Once charges are filed they will subpoena you if the case goes to trial. Once subbed, you are required by law to go to court. And prosecutors are trained to deal with recanting victims. Your husband should hire a good defense attorney, because it is too late at this stage for anything else.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq. | Stephanie Lee Ehrbright
    It is hard to answer this question without more details. The State will likely continue with the charges even if you say that you no longer want to go forward with them. Does your husband have any priors? What specifically did you allege in the report? Also be careful because if you now contact authorities and say that you didn't tell the truth, they could potentially file charges on your for filing a false police report and the like.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Gutin and Wolverton
    Gutin and Wolverton | Harley Gutin
    You should meet with an experienced criminal defense attorney. I could give you a detailed answer if I knew all the facts. You can typically file a "drop charge" affidavit at the State Attorney's Office and they then make you take a class or watch a movie on domestic violence. If you are subpoenaed to go to Court and you ignore said subpoena you could be prosecuted for Contempt of Court.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/29/2011
    Law Office of William C. Wood, LLC | William C. Wood
    If you receive a summons as a witness, you are required to appear in court. In Maryland, you have a spousal privilege. If you do not wish to testify against your spouse, the State cannot compel you to do so. You can only invoke the privilege once, so as long as you have never invoked the privilege in the past, you may use it in this case. If there were no other witnesses to the alleged incident, the State would not be able to prove their case without your testimony. You would be required to state under oath that you are invoking the privilege in court.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 12/29/2011
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