How to Drop Domestic Violence Charges in California
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.
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.