How to Drop Domestic Violence Charges in California

 

Woman concerned about dropping domestic violence charges

 
Anyone who has ever been involved in a meaningful partnership of any kind knows that relationships are hard. When two people decide to start living together, problems are sure to follow. This doesn’t mean that relationships are doomed to fail, but instead that they require dedication from both parties to make them work. Different people have different needs and wants.
 
When two people can balance their needs and wants with that of their companion, they put themselves in a good position to have a long-lasting relationship that could last a lifetime.

 
Unfortunately, for every successful relationship there are countless others that do not end well. There are a wide variety of factors that contribute to violent relationships, but regardless of the reasons for why things turned sour, those engaged in abusive relationships regularly struggle to determine what the best course of action is to help themselves and their partner.
 
When things spiral out of control, people can make decisions fueled by anger, jealousy, rage, or hurt to try and fix the problem, but what happens if they change their mind?
 

Why Are DV Charges So Hard to Drop?

California domestic violence prosecutors would like the public to believe that every person who files charges against another for domestic violence is a victim, but that is not always the case.
 
There are many instances where persons press charges for domestic violence when no violence occurred. When people are desperate, hurt, or angry, they can make decisions that are out of character, resulting in negative repercussions for the ones that they love most.
 
A large number of those who are reportedly victims of domestic violence try to have the charges dropped against the defendant shortly after they are filed, but quickly find out that they are very difficult to dismiss. The laws reflect a general assumption that victims of domestic violence, even if they have suffered serious injury at the hands of another, regularly try to protect their aggressor.
 
California is notorious for being vigilant against those accused of domestic violence, as well as those who accuse someone of domestic violence and then try to drop the charges later.
 
Although it can be very difficult for someone who has been charged with committing acts of domestic violence to have their charges dropped, there are instances where this is possible, and if you can save yourself or your loved one from unwarranted criminal charges, you can save some sleep and get on with your life.
 

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What Steps Can Be Taken To Drop DV Charges?

In general, the alleged victim and defendant of a domestic violence dispute in California do not have the ability to “drop the charges.”  This is because the state of California treats these incidences as a crime against the state as well as the victim.
 
So, if the victim claims to have no grievance against the defendant and does not want to press charges, that is fine, but the state may (and almost always will) press charges on behalf of the state.
 
Whether or not they will continue to press charges likely depends upon the amount and type of evidence available to be used against the defendant. If there is no other evidence and the defendant does not have any prior domestic violence criminal offenses on his or her record, there is potential to have the case dismissed, but it is rare.
 
The following are two ways that you can prepare for DV charges:

 

  • Obtain a free case evaluation.
    If you or your loved one has been charged with a domestic violence offense, obtaining a free case evaluation from a domestic violence defense attorney in your area is extremely important. Whether or not you need to hire an attorney depends upon a number of different factors. Those who would like to obtain a free consultation for Southern California offenses can call my firm at (888) 250-2865.

 

  • Request the police report.
    If you do not know what evidence will be used against you or your loved one, how will you determine the best way to defend yourself? Get your police report as soon as possible to evaluate what evidence the prosecution has to try and convict.

 

Despite the fact that there is little that can be done by the defendant or the victim to have domestic violence charges dropped after an incident in which there is evidence of abuse, a victim that openly supports their alleged attacker can provide added benefits to the defendant’s case, in some circumstances.
 
For instance, a prosecutor who has little evidence and a victim that is uncooperative may feel pressured to reduce the charges against the defendant to a lesser offense or offer a favorable plea agreement.
 

What If The Victim Lied About Abuse?

Having worked on behalf of several domestic violence defendants for numerous years, I have experienced situations in which a victim of domestic violence wants to have the defendant’s charges dismissed because the charges are based on lies. There are situations where this is possible, but the person who admits to making false accusations of domestic violence may have to face charges themselves.
 
Either way, this does not automatically result in the charges against the defendant being dropped. Prosecutors are used to these types of situations, so they may proceed regardless. Expect prosecutors to reference the victim’s initial claims of abuse in court against the defendant and to portray the person who made false accusations as a victim living in fear of their abuser.
 

How a Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Can Help

While no lawyer can force a prosecutor to drop charges, an experienced domestic violence defense attorney can often persuade a prosecutor that the charges should not be pursued. A careful investigation may reveal evidence that suggests one of the following to be true:

  • the alleged crime never happened,
  • the accusation is blown out of proportion,
  • the accuser is not credible,
  • the evidence is shaky and the prosecutor will probably lose if the case goes to trial, or
  • the events were out of character and the accused has taken steps to make sure they will never happen again.

A skilled domestic violence defense lawyer can determine whether the accused has an alibi, whether the alleged victim has an incentive to manufacture a false story, and whether witness statements and other evidence are inconsistent. Evidence of that nature can be used to persuade a prosecutor to drop domestic violence charges.
 
When it is clear that a crime occurred, it is often possible to persuade a prosecutor to agree to a deferred prosecution if the accused pursues anger management counseling or takes other steps to assure that the behavior will not be repeated. An experienced Orange County domestic violence defense attorney can fashion the best strategy to get the charges dropped in light of the circumstances of each case.
 
If you are in need of skilled representation to defend your domestic violence charge, call 888-250-2865 to speak with a Law Offices of Randy Collins domestic violence lawyer today. A domestic abuse conviction could land you or your loved one in jail and affect future options. Let the experience that comes from assisting more than 10,000 clients guide you through this troubling time. Call us today to get help now.
 

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  • http://cabreralawoffices.com/ petercabrera

    Very useful information. In most places in the US, domestic abuse charges are filed by the prosecutor (City Attorney, District Attorney, State’s Attorney or the equivalent). The complaining party is considered a witness for the prosecution, rather than a plaintiff (as in a civil case). The complaining party cannot choose to drop the charge. You may ask the prosecutors if they would request to dismiss the case, which they may or may not do, even if you refuse to testify. Good Luck. Please consider getting help from a social service agency.

    • Janet Clendenin

      Will social services give me legal help. I’m too poor to hire an attorney. Do you know who or where legal representation can be found for disabled.

  • Douglas Self

    Mine own experience (wrongly accused, got the case dismissed after seven months of ‘hell’) is that unless the case is ridiculously weak, you’ll have to offer ‘something’, like going to the 12-week “Anger Management” course, which I did (cost $535), so they have their ‘bean’, to gain dismissal. I could have gone to trial, and my Public Defender had a high confidence of prevailing if the DA still wanted to go to trial (we were a week away), but it would have cost me even more in their fees, still a bargain as most private attorney would charge $15K to $25K for services in a misdemeanor DV case. Less money out of pocket (I would have been billed for their services since a dismissal for the AM course was offered, if I insisted on trial), and a 100% chance of dismissal (meaning I’m still INNOCENT), versus about a 95% chance of being acquitted altogether (the ‘5%’ is that a jury, perhaps of twelve Negresses whom each had been beaten at some point by their husbands/bf/s (or both), would at least ‘get’ me on the 243(e)(1), charge, which, since it can be mere ‘offensive touching’ and doesn’t require proof of bodily injury, is difficult to disprove). The trade-off was twelve Wednesday evenings, $535, listening to the moderator’s BS (for my money, I should have gotten at least one session with Jack Nicholson or Charlie Sheen for ‘Anger Management’), and enduring the company of some real yahoos (while some’s sob stories about being wrongfully charged and/or convicted were believable, other men in the class gave me concerned that they’d be ‘back’, and not in a humorous way like “Ah-nuld”). I did actually get something out of it though, b/c it helped me realize that you have to behave in a manner that helps PERCEPTION, even if you’re factually innocent of anything DV. Life’s not fair, get used to it.

  • caligrown

    My finance n myself had an argument on7-3-15, a verbal argument. It was loud yes, appearantly my neighbor called 911 n the police came. When they got here my fiance was out taking a ride on his bicycle n I was playing w/my cat n fixing a coffee table. He called n said he was coming back n I said ok cuz the police were here n we can get this straightened out. 3 doors down he rode up to the police n said my girlfriend said u wanted to talk to me, at tht point they arrested him. When 1 of the officers walked his bike back, I asked what happened n he said they arrested him. I asked why n he said he n his partner felt they had just cause. The police officers (2) talked to me all of 10 min. on the patio, and all they wrote down was my name n his. I told them that we had a verbal argument. 1 asked if anyone was in the house, I said no, he asked if he could look, I said, yeah, he came back out n then took off. On the 7th, he went to court n the D.A. added false imprisonment n corporal injury. No pics were taken bcuz I had no injuries. Oh, i did have a scratch on my lip, caused by my cat. The judge then put a 3 yr. restraining order on him too. Could not believe what I was hearing! At the next court date the bail was lowered 110,000.00 n I bailed him out. 5 days later whn he returned to next court date D.A. added another charge of coercing a victim/witness by force! And took him back into custody. This is so unjust!!!! Here in Lancaster, CA. they have got to be the most corrupt sheriffs anywhere! My fiance has a history but he paid for that already. It has nothing to do w/him now n how’s he doing. No DV ever let me add. This has been taken all the way to superior court. Next date is in a month n that’s the pre-trial. I have found out that the officer said on his statement things I did not say! The D.A. has disrespected me by saying I’m full of s–t n the detective has threatened me by saying if I as much as wink at neighbor, I’m going to jail. she did tht when SHE served the supoena. She also said when I called her, you know he’s a very bad man”. A bit biased right. It’s really gotten out of hand. what happened to innocent until proven guilty? What happened to alleged victim having anything to say about said incident. Don’t I have the right to not want a restraining order? Don’t I have the right to say it was a verbal argument n nothing else. I mean, how can they put all these false charges on him n get away w/it. No pics, no body cams, no dash cams,. These are allegations tht the D.A. has filed. I never said any thing to justify such lies. I was alone when the cops drove up. I had no injuries on me. This is all bcuz he has a record n nothing else. They are ruining our lives! He has lost his job n chance to go to school to b an electrician for the union n much more. I have lost way to much weight n have gone into the red 8,000.00, the pain n suffering bcuz of this very corrupt system is real n has my doctors a lil bit concerned. We r 50-70 yrs young. I just can’t believe tht the state can put charges on someone, FALSE CHARGES at tht, w/o alleged victim having any say what so ever.

    • Sandee Wilson

      Wow im so sorry, this unbelievable but it has happened to me too, i m wondering what was the outcome? My husband tried to kill himself i called 911for help specifcally requesting an ambulance for medical evaluation, to be short, he was arrested and vharged by the da for criminal threat with a weapon and child endangerment bcz our kids where there, the da knew that i didnt say he did anything to me at all and she insisted that all victims say this and charged him anyway 3yr court order to stay away from us and a strike, a diversion program for 2yrs with 85 weeks of domestic violence classes. He had prior felony so they gave him a second strike, the first was over 20 yrs ago he served complete sentence never been in trouble again until that day, hes only 42 and i dont know what we can do he was forced to plead guilty or he would have gotten 10 yrs if he lost at trial i wanted trial but he has been im custody since may, and has not seen the outside since, he is starving in there no hot meals at all,he needs mental care and he says he can now atleast see and breath real air and get some sort of mental counseling and see our kids and eventually me i have lupus and he scared i might live thru it if he was giving the max the da wanted- yes my lupus is that severe, hes been my caregiver for 10 of the 21 yrs weve been married, how can the state do this?

      • caligrown

        The outcome was fiance kept saying he wanted to take it to trial n DA kept coming down on offers n the last one all charges dropped n new charge of attempted witness tampering n a strike! I was the one who talked to my neighbor, completely innocent, just asked her a question not even relative to her calling the police. I told fiance about it when he called n they listened to calls n they charged him for attempted witness tampering n bcuz of his past added a strike. He kept saying no, but to insure he came home in a few months not 9 yrs. That’s what he would of gotten if he’d lost trial. He took the deal n will coming home in a few months. But this is so unjust n so illegal. Something really needs to be done about the corruption in the justice n sheriffs dept. here in the AV valley. The cop lied on the stand, the DA should not of even filed, let alone added all those false charges, to just be dropped at the end of it all. Anyone who’s in the AV valley who has had similar experiences, let me know, a petition of some kind, if enough people let the assemblyman n others know about what’s going on, they will eventually do something about it.

        • 12345676

          NEVER believe in a COP telling the truth, they will lie lie lie to get a feather in their cap to move up the chain of deceit. Most of my relatives are cops, they are all fake and even lie in their private lives. I cant even look any of the 30 + cops in my family, in the eyes.

  • jesdem

    My friend was charge with domestic violence due to a boyfriend’s report. but to my knowledge the guy is the abuser in the house and never my friend. my friend told me that it was a push to make sure the guy will not reach for her face during argument but the then guy called 911 and claimed he was punch to his face. police took my friend and sent to jail. she was post par tum and breast feeding at that time. in spite of her explaining that she never punch the guy, my friend was terrified and worried of her new born and worried that she will be deported without her baby, end up pleading no contest to all without understanding that it is not supposed to be that way. when she got out from jail, I found out what happen to her and i am so disappointed, i have ask for a lawyer to call the guy to return the baby but the guy won’t and adding more allegation that my friend is crazy and suicidal. i told her it should not be that way. i was told to try to look for a lawyer who can overturn her plea. my friend have many abusive experience with that guy, she was just affair to report due to her immigration status and the guy’s threat of having her deported. can her case be overturned? if so, how and what do we need to do.

  • Anna Jaimes

    what is the statue of limitations for misdemeanor 273.5Pc.. a friend was charged and case closed back in 2005. In 6/22/2016 he was arrested for alleged same charge, so case of 2005 was reopened
    . Is that sound as correct process.

  • Kimberly

    I want to drop charges because I believe it wasn’t a big deal I had only gotten pushed & he wrapped his hands around my neck but didn’t choke me like that…he’s a good dad I want my kids to be able to spend time with him I believe he’s not a bad person…what can I do?

    • tati nogood

      Try and file a waiver of prosecution

  • Lisa Landers

    My son &his love in girlfriend got into a wrestling fight over her not giving him his phone. She insisted on not giving it to him even thou he asked numerous times. She got a bump on her head he got scratch down his face, but they arrested my son on felony assault charges saying he was the aggressor? Yet the DA hasn’t charged him yet? He has no priors, what can he do? They are already back together!!

    • Char-lee

      Get an attorney asap…

    • Walter Brandon Hargrove

      He should stay away from her because they already see him as the problem.Another incident it will be worst.The courts already has a taste and will not let it’s grasp off.Bad relationships were it becomes physical us men have to get away from.We are the ones that are losing everytime.

    • tati nogood

      Why was he fighting so hard to get a phone that it caused a bump on her head …

  • Justify Jones

    Boy I got one for you.. I’m moving out of my apartment, it was getting late and we decided to go ahead and move out the bedroom hutch.. My partner had it by the door and it tipped, spilling the contents, when he let go of it, it crashed into the wall (loud) the neighbors called the cops.. Next thing I know, the police were in my apartment unannounced and arrested him for domestic violence against me.. Now, how can I proceed to get him out of this mess.. I argued with these cops until I was blue in the face, still took him.. we were drinking(having a moving party) so I have no idea what to do..

    • AttorneyRandyCollins

      Hello,

      I suggest contacting an attorney you trust in the area that your partner is facing charges and obtain a free consultation.

      Best of luck to you.

    • Brion Garner

      Yikes. Never call the freaking police unless its last resort! And sucks that it was the neighbors. What a nightmare!

  • ..✝️FREDO IN THE CUT✝️..

    She hurt her finger jumping out the car i was charged with domestic violence im being charged with robbbery cause my direct deposit was in her bank account and i withdrew it

  • anayanci ferrer

    I am 17, and parents found out about a heated argument we had and he got probation for a year..part of it is that we cant see each other for that year..i turn 18 in two weeks.. Can I go to the court and ask them to lessen the punishment ? To where we can see each other, because I am also moving out the day I turn out, and I was planning on moving in with him and his family, but I just need that part of the probation off at least, not even necessarily dropping the entire charge, because I never wanted any of this to happen but since I stil 17 I didn’t have a say

    • Walter Brandon Hargrove

      The courts looks at you as the victim.If they gave him the option of anger management classes then that can probably lessen or drop the charges.

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  • Walter Brandon Hargrove

    Never wanting my ex to speak to me and never want to see her I said we communicate by text.Well ofcourse she holds my son away from me on my visiting days or makes stupid comments.I cursed her out and got angry and said something I didn’t mean but ofcourse she’s a woman and the courts are their strength.They can hold your child say whatever but the courts decides you need anger management.I lived in Florida at the time 2013,didn’t recieve a restraining order until I found out by my ex by asking can I speak to my son in 2015.2 years and nobody informed me.I live in Vegas now,she’s in Jersey,they want me to go to anger management.I’m like for what reason I’m not bothering her and I don’t live in the same state.26 week program.They love money to come out of the mens pocket.Last time I seen my son he was 5,he is now 9.

  • Ryan ONeal

    My wife lied to the police about me. She told the po po’s that i tried to stabbed her with knife. Moreover, she told the pigs that i said i was going kill her. (Terrorist threats). She made up good story about how i attacked her. Even her son (my Stepson) gave a false statement. Both statements are false. 100% false.
    She had the knife. She stabbed at me and caused my hand to bleed from her actions with the knife. The stepson stood and watched. (He actually saw, first-hand, how a man should positively handle a situation of this magnitude), but he still gave false statements to the police. I went to jail. Im still going threw this mess NOW! Smh
    The point of me writing this is to tell you:
    1. If person gets away with giving false statements to police. Then they will do it again.
    2. There has to be consequeses to lying. Especially when the other person is inconvenienced.
    3. What a person makes up about you is not worth arguing about.
    4. Proving, problem solving and defending yourself against negative comments should NOT be a argument.
    5. The only defense against a liar is the TRUTH.
    6. If your mate cant defend you in there own mind or cant rationalize the truth with themselves or you to make things better, then one of you should leave. This is NOT love. Make-believe stories and lies should NOT last as long as the time it took to fabricate them in the mind.
    7. Fight for whats right. It makes a difference in the long-run.

    The bottom line is that people will say what they want you to do, but not what they did, done, or are still doing. Evaluate your situation with the truth. The whole truth!!!! It might hurt at first. It might not hurt til later. It might not hurt at all. Try it.
    Last but not least is that it takes practice to tell the truth. Practice makes perfection. Especially with the truth!!!!!
    Forget the lies because a lie never ends.

    I’m patiently waiting and watching to see how far this lie goes. Consequences will soon follow.

    • Cathie McCormack

      You call the cops pigs and then you expect us to believe your innocent. .lol.

      • Escobar Cheung

        He’s probably been mistreated by them because that’s usually what they do to the man in these situations. To them, he’s not innocent until proven guilty, he’s a fucking wife beater.

    • Escobar Cheung

      My ex tried that shit on me too. She made some story up about how she cut her hand on glass from a lamp that I threw at her. She also had a scraped knee from where I “tackled her to the ground”. The truth was that I wanted to leave, because she was a psycho, and she wouldn’t let me. She chased me outside and stood in front of my car door and told me to “try it”. I pushed her away from the car door and she fell to the ground and scraped her knee. There goes that one. I pushed her hard, not because I like to or that I’m an abuser, but because I know she will try to punch me if I simply scooch her out the way. That is what she meant by “try it”. Well, I successfully unlocked my door and got in the car. I start the engine and she gets up from the ground and looks at me with the most evil eyes I’ve ever seen and proceeds to smash my windshield with her.bare.hands. (mind you, she’s about a buck25 and yeah that’s where those cuts came from) She was staring at me the entire time with that fucking demonic possessed look just pounding on my windshield. She didn’t even need to do it continually to crack it! She smashed it in the got damn first time! So I’m like hell naw, this bitch is not playing and she is definitely going to Jodi Arias me. So I reversed out as fast as I could, rolled the window down, and drove with my head outside the window all the way to my mom’s house. My mom hates that girl.. and she likes everyone.

      We lived together (I know, it won’t happen again) but I did not want to go back to that. That look was terrifying. The next day she asked me why I hadn’t called her and to come back and I said nope. Not a chance. I’ll take the lease if she wants, but if not, I’m signing myself off.

      She wasn’t happy. Her retaliation? Call the police to say I strangled her, that she ran away, and that I tackled her to the ground. Then proceeded to grab and throw valuables at her, but missed because she did a somersault over them, causing it to break lamps. Which created the broken glass on the ground that I repeatedly threw her into and caused the cuts all over her hands. There was obviously no reason to ponder why the only broken items were my Xbox, my PC, and lamps. I’m always throwing my $300 consoles and $1100 machines that I’ve built from scratch because I fucking love terrorizing women! Worth it!!! After I throw them, I love stomping on them, pulling out the internal parts and smashing them on the ground, all whilst laughing maniacally in the face of the poor helpless bitch.

      So, a week or so goes on and she doesn’t even tell me that she filed a police report, but says I can get my things from the apartment, they’ll be outside. I didn’t care where it was, but when I arrived, all of my shit was broken. The only thing in tact were my clothes, which I couldn’t give a shit about.

      A month goes on and I’m already going out with my friends again, talking to another girl, life is good, then I get pulled over in front of a club. Cop says I have an arrest warrant for domestic battery and takes me to jail. I read the report and she made this elaborate story about how I came and abused her two days in a row. The cops took her statements as full truth, continually repeating that subject (me) caused her bruises, scrapes, and cuts. The officer didn’t bother to ask the neighbors if they saw anything and I know this because THEY WERE OUTSIDE WHEN SHE WAS SMASHING MY WINDSHIELD.

      Police work is just a suggestion apparently. There’s no reason to ask her if anyone was outside whenever she ran out screaming for help and I tackled her into the parking lot pavement. When it comes to women getting abused by men, there’s absolutely no reason to doubt anything the female victim says. Fuck men, right?

      I was only 21 at the time and I had never had any issues with the law before. I didn’t know what to do and at the time wasn’t aware of the way the police mistreated me by never asking me for my side of the story. They had “irrefutable” evidence because she was scratched up.

      Since a month had gone by and I couldn’t show them my damages produce the evidence to prove her statement was a lie, they charged me with it. Again, I didn’t think we were getting police involved. I had no idea she was that vindictive of a bitch.

  • buildthebombs

    So if the victim of a domestic violence case does a no-show can the case be dismissed

    • Escobar Cheung

      Victim doesn’t have to show anywhere. Once Domestic Violence is reported, the charges are made by the state. The crimes are against them now and victims have no responsibilities to it besides being the victim. The only way the charges can be dismissed is if the victim recants their statement, which won’t work if the crime was verified to have happened.

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