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Can your partner get the state to drop domestic violence charges?


Maybe you forgot your spouse’s birthday, and the situation turned into a major screaming fight. Perhaps you both had too much to drink, and your neighbors became concerned. Arguments that sound too aggressive or fights that involve property damage could result in neighbors or passersby calling the police.

Sometimes even people in usually healthy and happy relationships have to answer the door because police officers are there. After someone calls to report domestic violence concerns, the police will likely want to speak with the people involved and may arrest someone.

If you admitted that you pushed your partner, if they claimed to feel afraid of you or if there were signs of personal injury or property damage, the police officers responding to a domestic violence call might arrest you and charge you with a crime. Can your partner convince the state to drop the charges?

Victims don’t have control over prosecution

In California, as in many states, domestic violence issues cause a lot of strain on law enforcement organizations and the courts. It is not uncommon for the victims in these situations to feel trapped or to be financially dependent on their violent partner. Even if they have to lie, they might say anything to stop the state from pressing charges.

To prevent people from pressuring victims, their involvement in these cases is usually kept to a minimum. Generally, prosecutors will only bring domestic violence charges in cases where they have enough evidence to secure a conviction, usually without the alleged victim’s cooperation.

Although prosecutors may not agree to drop charges just because your partner requests it, you may be able to work with them as well as a lawyer to develop a defense strategy for those pending charges. Learning more about how California handles domestic violence situations will make defending yourself a little easier.

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