Domestic violence incidents (whether real or made up) often take place behind closed doors. Because of this, prosecutors might count on the alleged victim to testify against the accused person to obtain a conviction.
Sometimes, the accuser may change their mind. This doesn’t necessarily mean the charges will be dropped.
Accusers don’t control domestic violence charges
Once domestic violence charges are filed, it is the state or the prosecutor’s office that pursues the case, not the individual. This is because domestic violence is considered a crime against the state or community, not just the individual. Even if the accuser wishes to drop the charges, it is ultimately up to the prosecutor to decide whether to continue with the case.
Accusers may opt to halt participation in the case
An accuser can express their desire to drop the charges or not to participate in the prosecution. This may be taken into consideration by the prosecutor, but it does not guarantee that the charges will be dropped. In some cases, a prosecutor may proceed without the supposed victim’s cooperation if they believe it is necessary for that person’s safety or that of others in the community.
Caution is imperative
Domestic violence cases usually come with a personal protective order placed against the accused party, which forbids them from contacting their accuser. Even if the parties reconcile, staying apart is necessary until the order is lifted by the court.
Ultimately, you have to protect yourself if you’re facing domestic violence charges. Learn about your options and responsibilities so you can make informed decisions about how to proceed with your defense.