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Victims can't drop charges, even in domestic violence cases

A person facing charges related to domestic violence often holds out hope that a reconciliation will put an end to the criminal charges. That isn't how these things work, in most cases, so it is important for those facing domestic violence charges to understand this.

When it comes to criminal charges of any sort, the decision about whether to pursue charges or not is up to the prosecution. It doesn't matter what the alleged victim wants to happen. They can suggest, or ask outright that charges be dropped, but that is the extent of their input.

It is sometimes possible for the alleged victim to make it quite difficult for the district attorney's office to prosecute the case.The complainant refuses to testify or cooperate with the prosecutors. This won't necessarily mean that the charges will get dropped. The available evidence could mean that they could proceed as intended.

The alleged victims might not be able to stop cooperating with the prosecution without facing penalties. In some cases, they could be criminally charged, fined or be subject to other penalties if they don't answer a summons or follow court orders.

A good course of action for those facing domestic violence charges is to work on a defense. This can include many different steps, so it is critical that you start the process as early as possible to give you the time you need to interview witnesses and review evidence with your defense attorney.

These cases can be complex, so exploring the different options may provide you with a strategy to challenge the prosecution's case against you.

Source: FindLaw, "Can the Victim Drop Domestic Violence Charges?," accessed Nov. 22, 2016

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