How do I get a domestic violence charge against my husband dropped? 1 Answers as of October 09, 2014

I am writing today to find out what I can do to help my husband get domestic violence charges dropped. About a month ago my husband and I got into an argument about me drinking that day. The argument got a little heated and he grabbed me and when I went to pull away from him I tripped and fell into a ditch. Someone called the police. He wasn't arrested but he is being summoned to court to go in front of magistrate on November 26th. I didn't call the police, file charges, file a restraining order, or even make a statement. So can I write a letter to the magistrate judge telling him that he was upset because I had been drinking that day and if I hadn't been drinking then the argument would never have taken place. He is a good man and he works very hard every day for our family and I am in no fear of my life and never have been. Can I go down and sign a paper stating that I would like for these charges to be dropped?

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Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
You indicate that this issue arose in Massachusetts, which is the only state in which the following analysis applies. Most often the court will NOT abide by a victim's desire to "drop the charges." It is not Victim v. Defendant, it is Commonwealth v. Defendant, therefore, it is up to the Commonwealth, not the alleged victim, as to whether or not the charges are brought or "dropped". However, there are things that can be done. These cases are fact specific and there are factors that may be in play that will preclude the Commonwealth's ability to successfully prosecute the charges if they do issue. The Clerk Magistrate's job is merely to determine if a crime has been committed and if so, they are supposed to issue a Criminal Complaint. However, if it can be shown that these charges will never be successfully prosecuted, the Clerk Magistrate may deny the Application for Complaint. Your husband is in the excellent position in that if the Complaint does not issue there will be no criminal record whatsoever. It is also far cheaper to hire an attorney to argue at a Clerk's Hearing than to challenge the Criminal charges once they issue. My advice is to hire an attorney to represent your husband at the Clerk's Hearing. It is the time when you have the most to gain for the least cost. If the charges issue and he is arraigned, they will be forever on his Criminal Record, even if later the charges are dismissed.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 10/9/2014
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