Commitment To Justice

Dropping domestic violence charges is not up to the accuser

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2023 | Domestic Violence Defense

Family relationships are messy, and what happens in the heat of the moment isn’t always an accurate reflection of reality. As one example, consider domestic violence allegations. It is not unheard of for people to call police and make false accusations against their partner because they were angry and wanted revenge. This happens more often than you might assume.

But what happens next? The accuser calms down and decides they don’t want to “press charges.” Is that the end of the story? Unfortunately, no. Contrary to what’s commonly portrayed in movies and television shows, alleged victims who make criminal accusations don’t get to decide whether they are dropped.

After charges are filed, discretion is left to prosecutors

In Indiana and most other states, prosecutors can choose to continue pursuing charges whether the person named as the victim wants them to or not. This is especially the case with domestic violence allegations because prosecutors are aware that victims could be intimidated into recanting their testimony or asking that the charges be dismissed.

If the prosecutor decides they have enough evidence without the corroboration of the person who made the accusations, they can, and very well may, decline to drop the charges.

You need to get an attorney involved as soon as possible

Even if you believe it’s obvious that the domestic violence allegations against you are false or exaggerated, you need to contact a defense attorney right away. You cannot explain your way out of trouble on your own, and prosecutors may not believe that your partner’s request to drop the charges was genuine.

If you act quickly, your attorney may be able to get the charges dismissed or significantly reduced. If the case proceeds, your attorney can work with you (and potentially with your partner) to refute the allegations and demonstrate that the case has no merit.

The sooner you act, the more legal options you may be able to preserve.