What happens if I want to have DV charges dropped even though I didn’t press charges the police officer did? 31 Answers as of June 27, 2013

I just want him to rather have counseling or anger management and this is the first time he's being charged of DV but he is also on probation for something different. Does this matter or with that being said, make things harder for me to get the prosecutors to dismiss?

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James M. Osak, P.C.
James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
It's NOT up to you to dismiss. It's up to the prosecutor.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/8/2012
Law Office of Mark Bruce
Law Office of Mark Bruce | Mark Corwin Bruce
Usually when the DA decides to file charges, the victim's desire to have the charges dropped amount to nothing. This is because often the abused person will want to have the charges dropped to make the abuser happy. The DA doesn't like this. You can better help the defendant by telling the DA you do not want him/her to do jail time and that you want him/her to have the counseling, etc. That will help when it comes time for sentencing.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/6/2012
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
His Prior Record will not help, but if you respectfully decline to testify, then there may not be any evidence against him which may necessitate withdrawing the DV charge.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 10/5/2012
Larry K. Dunn & Associates | Larry K. Dunn
Although a victim has a legal right to be heard in a criminal prosecution, the fact that a law has been broken involves the "State" who is charged with prosecuting those who violate the law. A victim does not have the authority or power to "drop charges". A Prosecutor will evaluate the quality of the evidence to determine whether to dismiss charges. It is very common for victims of domestic violence to request that charges be dismissed. It is unlikely that a Prosecutor will dismiss charges which can be proven. Most people on probation have the general and specific condition that they not commit any additional crimes. If a person is arrested and/or convicted of additional crimes while on probation may result in probation being revoked and all or some portion of the underlying sentence may be imposed.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 10/5/2012
Law Office of Patrick Mahaney
Law Office of Patrick Mahaney | Patrick Mahaney
It is the exclusive responsibility of the prosecutor to proceed with prosecution of any crime. The alleged "victim" may not wish to have the defendant prosecuted, but that is not how our system of criminal justice works. If the prosecutor believes in good faith that probable cause exists to initiate and proceed with the prosecution of an individual or group of individuals, then the case will proceed to trial.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 10/5/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    The complainant in almost every Domestic Violence case wants to "drop the charges". They have no right or power to decide what happens or to dismiss charges, that is up to the prosecutor. You can tell the prosecutor that you do not want jail but prefer anger management and that might influence his decision. You may not have called the police or "pressed charges", but you probably signed a supporting deposition and if you change your story you might be charged with filing a false complaint or even perjury.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/4/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    All you can do is tell the police officer your wishes. You do not control whether the case continues. His probation status may well enter into the prosecutor's decision about continuing the case.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/4/2012
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
    I would recommend speaking with the DA about your concerns. Please note, the DA does not have to agree to dismiss the charges against the violator. The DA will also attempt to contact you to see if you are going to cooperate with the action against the violator. At that time, you should explain your concerns.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/4/2012
    Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq. | Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., Esq.
    Depends of the seriousness of the offense. Most times the prosecutor will take the advise of the alleged victim. However, the State has the final say as to whether they will proceed. Normally, no witness no case, so if you are not going to cooperate they will most likely dismiss the charges.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/4/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    The decision to dismiss a case is up to the prosecutor. You will need to discuss this with him.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 10/4/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    You have to talk with the prosecutors about this matter and it could be a violation of the other probation that he is on. He should talk to his probation officer to see what that person will do if there is some sort of plea. sometimes if a person gets anger management classes they will dismiss the charges.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/4/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    You can do nothing about the charges. The only person who can decide to drop the charges is the prosecutor. The police officer can't even do it. You are simply the victim/witness to the crime of assault. Whether the charges are dismissed (doubtful) depends upon the circumstances of the case and the underlying facts.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
    It is the DA's decision, but you can talk to him. He can not be ordered to do anything unless he is convicted.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    I would need further information to answer, but it is up to the prosecutor as to whether to bring or reduce or dismiss charges. You should hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/4/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    The fact that this fellow already has a criminal record will influence the prosecutor's determination of what to do with the case. This fellow has a record, and you do not wish him to be sent to jail, however you do want to proceed with charges if you want him to do DV counselling or anger management classes. The prosecutor may want him incarcerated, and because you are a witness, you have no right to get the charges dismissed, it is totally up to the prosecutor.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    You can tell the Officer you want to drop the charges but it will be his/her decision since he/she brought the complaint.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    The charges are based on what the prosecution thinks of his case. A person on probation faces additional charges for the violation.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    It is up to the prosecutor to dismiss the case. Some require you to take a class first. Talk to the victim advocate about getting the case dropped.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Only a prosecutor can press charges and dismiss charges. They may do so regardless of the victim's wishes.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/4/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    In prosector brings charges in the name of the People of the State of Michigan, only the prosecutor can drop the charges.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    If you called the police because you were the victim of domestic violence, then the police charged him with that crime. Many DAs have a no-drop policy on DV cases, and will not dismiss the case, even if the victim doesn't want to prosecute. That's because many victims are intimidated into dropping the charges, and the DAs want to send a clear message to victims and abusers alike. If you testify that you want him to get anger management and counseling, and that you care for him but you don't want to be abused, you will probably find a sympathetic ear with the judge and the DA.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Law Offices of Susan M. Pires | Susan M. Pires
    Once the police are called as a result if an incident of domestic violence, the State presses the matter. The victim is an integral factor in the case. If you, as the victim, do not cooperate, the case will ultimately be dismissed. You should speak to an advocate about your concerns.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    No chance. What you want is irrelevant, because you have zero authority to press or drop charges. Prosecutors are trained to deal with witnesses that recant or reconcile with the defendant, and your desire to have it dropped means absolutely nothing to them.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Pietryga Law Office | Russ Pietryga
    Usually, prosecutors are reluctant to dismiss a domestic violence charge once it has been filed. However, there are many ways to get the charges dismissed. The most successful is you not testifying. Depending on your relationship with the accused, this can be accomplished a number of ways. First, if you are married, you can invoke your spousal privilege: That means, you can not be forced to testify against your husband. Second, if you are not personally served you do not have to comply with the subpoena: That means, on the day of trial, the prosecutor will not have a witness. Third, you do not have to testify if you gave any false information to the police and/or your written statement: That means, you are not testifying because you are concerned that you could potentially incriminate yourself. See below, for an explanation of marital privilege. Courtesy of Utah-domestic-violence-attorney.com.Husband and wife?s privilege against testifying against each other In any criminal proceeding in Utah, including domestic violence cases, a wife shall not be compelled to testify against her husband, nor a husband against his wife. Moreover, the Utah Constitution further reinforces spousal disqualification privilege. Specifically, Article 1, section 12 of the Utah Constitution states,a wife shall not be compelled to testify against her husband, nor a husband against his wife.In criminal proceedings the spousal disqualification privilege works as follows First, either the husband or wife must be charged with a criminal offense; Second, the husband or wife must be subpoenaed to testify against their spouse; Third, the husband or wife must assert their ?spousal disqualification privilege; Fourth, the husband and wife must be married at the time the prosecutor requests their testimony. This means, that if a couple gets married, even after the charges have been filed, the testifying spouse can then assert their ?spousal disqualification privilege?; and Fifth, the testifying spouse must not have waived their ?spousal disqualification privilege. Interestingly, Utah recognizes common law marriage.[2] This means, that a couple can assert the marital privilege even if their marriage is not solemnized. Common law marriage arises out of a contract between a man and a women who: they are of legal age and capable of giving consent; they are legally capable of entering a solemnized marriage; they have cohabitated; they have mutually assumed marital rights, duties, and obligations; and they have held themselves out as and have acquired a uniform and general reputation as husband and wife.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    By calling the police, you set in motion a sequence of events that you no longer control. In the State of Washington, individuals cannot press or drop charges. As the victim, you are only a witness and victim. You have no authority to do anything but show up in court and tell the truth. If you lie or change your testimony, the prosecutor will be able to bring up your inconsistent statements. So it is best if you just appear in court and tell the truth.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    The prosecutor will probably not drop the charges, especially given the probation. You can voice your opinion, but you probably need an attorney to force a dismissal.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    You do not have the power to dismiss charges. The prosecutor is the only one that can do that. You are a witness and the alleged victim and the prosecutor must get your input and keep you informed of court dates, but they do not have to do what you want done. With that said, it is somewhat harder for them to prosecute with a reluctant rather than a cooperative witness. But they can subpoena you and force you into court and force you to testify. .
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    Cooperate with his attorney only. if you tell the DA and court, they will make it harder to dismiss you may want your own attorney. There are ways you can help him with an attorney. your attorney can help you understand the subpoena process and your right to remain silent the DA will try to confuse you.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    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. The fact that he is on probation will make things harder, as now, aside from the DV charges, he is also facing a probation violation from his original case. I strongly suggest that he contact an experienced criminal law attorney for a face-to-face consultation and give him/her all of the facts surrounding his case. He/she would then be in a better position to analyze his case and advise him of his options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    You do not press charges or not. That is a decision of the prosecutor. You should seek the counsel of your own attorney who can advise you about your options and their consequences. Your attorney may assist you in obtaining your desire. The prior convictiion could be a problem depending on how serious and how recent it is.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
    It is not your call to drop charges. DV charges are taken serious, and you need to take it serious as well.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/3/2012
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