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Don’t ask an alleged victim to drop domestic violence charges

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2024 | Criminal Defense

A dispute between you and your significant other or spouse turned aggressive – and neighbors called the police. You ended up in handcuffs and are now facing domestic violence charges

You’re pretty sure that your partner doesn’t want you to go to jail, and you’re deeply concerned about the potential consequences of a conviction on your future. In the movies, this is when you might reach out to the alleged victim, beg forgiveness and ask them to drop the charges.

Here’s why, in real life, that’s a profoundly bad idea:

It’s the prosecutor who is in charge, not the victim

Prosecutors, not victims, file charges on behalf of the state – and only the prosecutor can decide to drop them again. Because of the inherent emotional and financial ties between domestic abusers and their victims, the state usually takes the position that the case will proceed with or without the alleged victim’s consent.

You could end up facing additional charges 

Once you’ve been charged with domestic violence, you will most likely be subject to a no-contact order. If you violate that order, either directly or indirectly, the state could convict you for that violation – even if you are ultimately cleared of the underlying charges. 

You could also be charged with witness intimidation. If there’s any indication that you coerced or threatened your alleged victim into recanting or refusing to provide testimony, that can end with even more legal trouble.

The prosecutor may use your contact as evidence

If you make a call to your alleged victim from jail, you can bet that the call will be recorded – and that recording will make its way into court. By contacting the alleged victim, you’re flouting the law, and everything you say in that call can be interpreted negatively as another form of manipulation or abuse. 

If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, your best bet for a successful outcome to your case is experienced legal guidance.