If you have been arrested for domestic violence, the best course of action would be for the charges to be dropped or reduced as having a conviction can make life difficult for both employers and citizens alike. Often the person who called the police and led to your arrest will try to persuade prosecutors to pursue and not dismiss your case. It’s important to note that 10% or more of domestic violence allegations are false or exaggerated.
Contrary to what may be shown on television or in movies, prosecutors do not require victims’ approval in order to prosecute a defendant. A good defense attorney can often find ways of getting allegations dropped; for example if an accuser claims you assaulted them and caused their fall when it was an accident, your attorney can present evidence such as medical records that show injuries do not coincide or witness testimony that contradicts what their accuser claimed happened.
However, those accused of domestic violence do not have the option of dropping charges; that decision lies with the district attorney and judge. A knowledgeable family and criminal defense attorney can work to mitigate lasting emotional, financial, familial damages that a domestic violence proceeding can cause; reach out today so we can arrange a consultation session.
Many individuals facing domestic violence charges harbor hopes that their accuser will decide to drop them; it would certainly be preferable as it means the case won’t go through prosecution, with no permanent stay-away orders or criminal records for either of the parties involved. Unfortunately, however, this doesn’t work that way in reality.
In New York, it is the district attorney who determines whether to pursue or drop criminal charges, depending on evidence available in each case. Although an alleged victim can submit an Affidavit of Non Prosecution to stop prosecution proceedings against them, they do not possess legal authority to withdraw them once police have been called.
Therefore, it is imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible in order to determine your best options for getting charges dropped prior to prosecution filing any. A pre-charge strategy often proves much more successful.
How to Get the Prosecutor to Drop the Charges
People charged with domestic violence often wish for the charges against them to be dropped, believing they have done nothing wrong and are being unfairly penalized. It’s important to remember, though, that it’s the prosecutor who ultimately decides. Their accuser cannot dictate this decision themselves and rarely persuades prosecutors otherwise.
On TV and in movies, alleged victims often back down from their statements or request the prosecution drop charges against an accused person. Unfortunately, this doesn’t reflect how things work in real life.
Your criminal defense lawyer should begin by collecting any evidence to disprove what was presented by law enforcement; this might include documents, images, recordings or witness statements. Furthermore, they should conduct their own investigation of the incident to identify any legal barriers or obstacles that need to be overcome in your behalf.
How to Get the Judge to Drop the Charges
Prosecutors make decisions regarding whether a criminal case should continue or be dropped; however, victims have some input as to how a case moves forward and can consult a victim advocate or family law attorney for guidance and information regarding their rights and options.
Victims of domestic violence typically want charges dropped as soon as possible, particularly when residential stay-away orders are issued and families have to move. Victims may regret pressing charges and hope to undo any lasting damage done by an arrest for domestic violence conviction.
However, victims do not have the authority to dismiss domestic violence charges themselves. Such decisions rest with state authorities; prosecutors will carefully consider physical evidence collected, witness statements and medical reports as well as any relevant facts that might support a conviction in order to make their determinations. If it appears insufficient for conviction, dismissing without prejudice may be best so the case can be brought back at a later time using new evidence.