Suppose you were badly beaten by your spouse, and you are seriously injured. Your friends call the police out of concern. You want to report them because you do not want to be abused anymore. However, you also do not want your spouse to spend the rest of their life in jail. Many victims of domestic abuse feel that they need to protect their abuser.
If something similar has happened to you, you may wonder whether you can drop the charges after making a complaint. Unfortunately, once you have filed a domestic violence complaint, what happens after that becomes the prosecution’s decision entirely. To learn more about the law and how it can help your situation, contact Sandy domestic violence lawyer.
Why cannot a victim drop the charges if they were the one to file them?
Many people believe in the misconception that if someone files a complaint, they can take it back and close the case. While it is true for certain cases, it is not in the case of domestic violence. When you press domestic violence charges on someone, the prosecution makes the decisions from there onwards. You, as the victim, do not have any power over the case.
This is because domestic violence is a crime. Criminal charges are different from other charges, so the laws are often confusing to people. Most people think that it is the victim who issues the charges. In reality, the State governs the crimes and issues all criminal charges. Therefore, only the State can withdraw the charges, not the victim.
In simple words, since you do not issue the charges, you cannot drop them as well. The State decides whether to move forward with the case or drop the charges. Keep in mind that even though you did not issue the charges, you will still need to play an active role in the proceedings.
What is the victim’s role in the procedures?
The victim has to play various roles during domestic violence proceedings. For example, if there is a trial, you would have to testify in court against your abuser. If you refuse to testify, you may have to pay a fine or even be charged with a crime. You may also be required to appear in court to retrieve documents or evidence for the court.
However, remember that your role as a victim does not have to remain passive. You can bring your own civil lawsuit in Sandy and recover damages, such as personal injuries, wage losses, psychological injuries, etc.