We are often asked whether the victim has the authority to have domestic violence charges dropped. Once the prosecutor’s office has issued domestic assault or domestic battery charges, the victim has no authority over the case.
Why Can’t a “Victim” Drop Domestic Violence Charges?
Domestic violence is a crime. The process behind criminal cases is frequently misunderstood. A lot of people believe that victims of crimes, or the police, issue charges. This is incorrect.
Crimes are governed by the State. The State – usually the county prosecutor’s office – decides whether or not to move forward with domestic assault or battery charges.
Even though victims cannot drop domestic violence charges, they frequently want to change or recant their statements to law enforcement. Recanting is when someone takes back their original statement.
For example, one spouse may have initially told the police the other hit them. However, they may want to later recant that statement and say that their spouse did not hit them. It’s generally not a good idea for someone to recant their statement, unless they actually lied to authorities.
Why Recanting Statements Does Not Work
Recanting also will not force the prosecutor to drop their case since. The following ALWAYS allows a prosecutor to prosecute a domestic violence case despite any recanting:
- Police reports
- Recordings of 911 calls
- Statements or threats made via email or on social media
- Medical records
- Eyewitness accounts.
Moreover, most prosecutors are quite aggressive when it comes to pursuing uncooperative victims.
Also, those who recant could face criminal charges for falsifying information to law enforcement. Similarly, those who fail to attend court could be held in contempt by the court. This would then result in a warrant for arrest.
The process following a domestic violence situation can be confusing and emotionally challenging. Learn what you can expect while navigating a domestic violence charge by contacting our law firm of experienced criminal defense attorneys.
Attorney Morris has enjoyed a very successful and distinguished career as a trial lawyer providing high quality legal representation in the area of state and federal criminal defense for 20 years. He is known for his trial preparation by fellow attorneys, judges and clients alike. As a trial attorney, he is dedicated to attaining justice in every case, and is prepared to take on complex legal issues with success. Barton and his law firm pride themselves on obtaining results for their clients that other attorneys cannot.
Not only does Barton Morris have extensive experience, he also engages in continuing legal education to provide the highest quality legal services. Barton has received specialized scientific training through the American Chemical Society. He attended the prestigious Trial Lawyers College and serves on its Alumni Association Board of Directors. Barton Morris is also a board member of several distinguished legal associations including the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys, and the DUI Defense Lawyer’s Association Justice Foundation. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and has also graduated from their National Criminal Defense Trial College in Macon, Georgia.
Barton Morris was chosen as a Top Lawyer of Metro Detroit for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2019 and 2020 for DUI/DWI and criminal defense by DBusiness Magazine and Hour Magazine. Barton Morris was also chosen as a Super Lawyer in Criminal Defense for 2014-2020 and Barton Morris is the only Lawyer in Michigan designated by the American Chemical Society as a “Forensic Lawyer-Scientist”