Can Domestic Violence Victims Drop the Charges?
If you’re facing domestic violence-related charges or if you were a victim of domestic violence, you may be wondering if it’s possible to get the charges dropped. It’s not uncommon for both parties in these cases to regret getting law enforcement involved, and accusers often desire not to have the offender prosecuted.
Once the suspect has been charged, however, the alleged victim doesn’t get to choose whether or not the case is prosecuted. After all, it’s not actually the victim who files the charges against the defendant but rather the state.
While domestic violence victims can certainly withdraw their allegations or send the prosecutor a letter stating the innocence of the accused, this may not have an impact on the proceedings. Refusing to cooperate might not influence the outcome of the case, either. Depending on the circumstances, the prosecutor may not even need the victim’s testimony to build a strong case against the defendant.
Fortunately, there may be other ways to get the court to drop domestic violence-related charges. Let’s explore some of those scenarios:
1. Lack of Sufficient Evidence
When there’s not enough evidence to convict the defendant, the court has no choice but to drop the charges. Since many domestic violence cases come down to “he said/she said,” prosecutors often find it challenging to prove the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, if the incident wasn’t captured on film and didn’t cause injury or other damage, there’s a good chance the charges will be dropped.
2. Lack of Credibility
Making false accusations of any kind is a serious offense, but that doesn’t necessarily stop people from doing do. If the court finds the victim’s credibility questionable, they will likely dismiss the case entirely. This may be more likely to happen if the alleged victim suffers from a mental illness or has a history of making false accusations.
Courts are also inclined to question credibility when the alleged victim will benefit in some way if the defendant ends up with a conviction on his or her record. For example, if the couple is embroiled in a contentious custody battle, the prosecutor might demand irrefutable evidence of wrongdoing before filing any charges.
3. Lack of Serious Bodily Injury
If the alleged victim didn’t sustain injuries that necessitated medical care—or exaggerated the injuries he or she suffered—the prosecutor may not have enough evidence to charge the defendant with domestic battery. Depending on the circumstances, though, the offender could still face charges for a less serious offense.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Domestic Violence Attorney
If you’re facing domestic violence-related charges in New York, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group to discuss your case. Our legal team has defended thousands of clients against criminal charges, and we will do everything in our power to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a New York domestic violence lawyer.