Planning to Drop a Domestic Violence Case? Here’s All You Need to Know
Domestic violence is a very serious offence that comes under the purview of family law and the criminal justice system. However, there are many situations when a person files a complaint against his/her partner on these charges but later, wants the domestic violence cases dropped. This is because allegations are often made out of a lot of anger, spite or miscommunication. So, when the parties calm down, they try to reconcile but the domestic violence case remains pending in the court.
There are other circumstances when a complainant has told the police that they do not want to press charges on the partner but the police have laid charges anyway. Unfortunately, withdrawing or dropping a domestic violence case is not that easy and simple. So, if you or anybody you know is stuck in such a situation, here’s everything you need to know and understand.
It is the Police Who Press Charges
The first thing to remember is that in domestic violence cases, it is not the complainant who press charges but the police who does so. As such, withdrawing it is also not in the hands of the complainant. In fact, the domestic violence charges proceed even when a party does not give any statement to the police. Also, the police have a general policy, which requires them to not withdraw the domestic violence charges unless there are very solid grounds.
The Process of Dropping Domestic Violence Charges
You can well understand by now that once a domestic violence charge has been filed, it is difficult to drop it. However, there are specialized and experienced criminal lawyers who can subsequently guide you in the process. When you seek an attorney’s expertise, you must be absolutely honest with him and never hold back any facts.
After hearing what you have to say, the family lawyer prepares a retraction statement or a letter on your behalf. This statement/letter is then brought to the police, written representation, and a request to withdraw the domestic violence charges. The process might vary slightly depending upon your state, but the primary elements remain the same, irrespective of jurisdiction.
Dismissing the Domestic Violence Charges
Even after consulting a lawyer, sometimes it is complicated to drop the domestic violence case completely. This might be because of several reasons, including that the proceedings have already begun or that the police are not cooperating. In such situations, you can consider dismissing the domestic violence charges.
Sometimes, there might be complex legal arguments as to why the charges have not been proven. However, this process of dismissal will involve a hearing at the court. Again, you will need an experienced lawyer by your side, who will represent you. He will cross-examine the police officers, the complainant, and the witnesses thoroughly.
Although the process of dropping or dismissing a domestic violence case is a bit complex, an attorney’s expertise makes your experience smooth. It ensures that none of the parties has any pending case in their name.