The victim dropping charges is considered a fairly common occurrence surrounding domestic violence. The victim reports domestic violence against their spouse, but when the case begins to formulate, the victim wants to drop the initial charges. In most situations, charges can be dropped for various reasons; however, in a domestic violence case, once the police or the state has issued the charge, the victim no longer has the authority to drop the charge. It’s in the state’s hands now.
Are you facing a domestic violence charge? Do you need a lawyer? At DiCaudo, Pitchford, and Yoder, we strongly suggest you give us a call for criminal defense representation in your case. We have decades of experience as criminal defense attorneys, and we can help you.
Domestic Violence Charge Dropped?
What can victims do if they have no authority in the case?
First, let’s look at the role of the victim in a domestic violence case. The alleged abuser is charged with domestic abuse, and the process begins. The police and/or the state are notified of the case. The victim no longer has authority to drop the case; however, the victim can file a civil suit against their abuser for money.
In regard to the victim in the domestic violence case, they will most likely testify. In some states, it’s illegal for the domestically abused to not testify, which can result in penalties and fines. The victim may be required to appear in court for various reasons, gather personal documentation, and share their opinions on the case.
If the victim decides to file a civil suit, it simply means the alleged abuser now has two cases against them.
What’s the difference between a criminal charge and a civil suit?
In criminal charges, the crime is against the state. A civil suit means there is a crime against a victim. The difference is important since it can mean the alleged abuser will be facing penalties in both cases, although technically different charges.
What if the victim recants their statement?
The victim does have the option to recant his or her statement. In up to 90 percent of domestic violence cases, victims recant their original statements to the police and/or court. This doesn’t mean, once again, that your criminal charges are being dropped. It simply means the victim has decided to change what he or she originally said to the police or the court.
A recant does not force the state to not pursue criminal charges. The state can still pursue a domestic violence charge using the evidence, statements, and police reports gathered for the case.
If you’re facing domestic violence charges, you need professional criminal defense representation. Although victims may state they want to drop charges and then recants their statements, you still have a high probability of being prosecuted by the state. If the victim doubles down and files a civil suit on top of your domestic violence charge, you will need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to take care of your case. Call DiCaudo, Pitchford, and Yoder today!