Can A Case Still Be Pursued If The Alleged Victim Doesn’t Want To Pursue Charges?
It’s very common in a domestic violence case for the alleged victim to want to drop charges.
The state is always going to say that a complainant who is asking for a domestic violence charge to be dismissed wants that because they are a battered spouse, because they’re are economically dependent on the defendant, because they’re afraid of getting beat up again if they don’t ask for the charges to be dropped, and so on. Of course, they rarely think that the complainant wants charges dropped because the defendant is innocent.
Because there really are people in abusive relationships who want to drop charges, it can be hard to get a case dismissed even if that’s what the complainant wants. In Harris County, there’s an entire specialized division called the Family Criminal Law Division that handles only domestic violence cases where the victim wants to drop the charges. You have to negotiate with an entire group of prosecutors who are trained not to easily dismiss cases where the complainants want them dismissed. That surprises a lot of my clients. They don’t understand why the DA’s Office won’t dismiss a case even though that’s what the alleged victim wants.
I used to work in the Family Criminal Law Division, so I understand where these prosecutors are coming from. I know what types of arguments will persuade them to dismiss a case.
Don’t kid yourself into thinking that you can hire a cheap or inexperienced defense attorney just because the complainant wants to drop the charges. That’s not a guarantee that your case will be dismissed. Actually, it’s the opposite.
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