It happens, verbal altercations can escalate. Those whom we love the most and those who love us the most know how to push our buttons, and we know how to push theirs. Often, this is the case when someone is facing domestic violence (DV) charges. While society seeks to demonize everyone facing these charges, rarely are these people who the police and media report them to be.
And, this is why, when couples reconcile, which happens often, they wonder if the spouse can just drop the charges. The Bartow, Florida, couple wants to figure out how to move on, and get back to a normal life. Is that possible?
Can reported victims drop charges?
Bluntly, no. A reported victim has no unilateral power to drop charges. Everyone has the power to report a perceived crime, and once that report is made, it is largely taken out of the reporter’s hands. The police investigate, but the prosecutor decides whether to move forward with charges.
Can they just refuse to participate in the investigation?
The reported Bartow, Florida, victim can refuse to participate in the investigation, but the prosecution can subpoena them to testify at trial. If they then decide to change their story, they could face criminal charges themselves. This is why it is always recommended that the reported victim have their own attorney who can advise them on how to proceed, especially when they do not want to proceed.
What power do they have?
Prosecutors take a lot of information in when deciding whether to charge. This includes the crime itself and its severity, the person accused and their criminal history and the reported victim’s wishes. A victim can ask the prosecutor to not proceed with charges and explain why they do not want them to move forward. Of course, the prosecutor does not have to listen, but the wishes are given weight.
What can the accused do?
Primarily, listen to your Bartow, Florida, lawyer, period. Presumably, your lawyer knows what they are doing, and they can help you navigate this process and be your advocate. Generally, with crimes, like domestic violence, entering substance abuse treatment and mental health counseling can help you look like you are taking positive steps. Positive steps can help show the prosecutor that you are not a danger to your spouse or society.
The key takeaway
You cannot avoid domestic violence charges by convincing your spouse to drop the charges. Talk to your attorney before you engage with your spouse at all because even contacting them could get you in further trouble.