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Can a domestic violence victim drop the charges against their alleged abuser?

A domestic violence charge means that you need to explore all the defense options that are possible for your case. While you’re doing this, you may wonder if you can convince the victim in the case to drop the charges. It might seem like that would be an easy way to make the charges go away; however, it won’t work.

Victims can’t drop charges once they’re picked up by the prosecuting attorney. This means that even if you can convince the victim to forgive you, the charges will likely stand. In some cases, a victim might opt to stop cooperating with the prosecution, but this can come with consequences for you both.

What happens if the victim refuses to cooperate?

There are a few things that can happen if a victim refuses to cooperate with the prosecution. There’s a chance that the victim might still be subpoenaed to court. Failing to comply with the requirements of the subpoena can lead to serious legal issues for them (including contempt of court charges). Because of this, victims may feel as though they have to cooperate with the prosecutors. 

Even if you want to attempt to reconcile with the victim at the center of the domestic violence case, it is unwise — especially if you have a protective order in place. You could find yourself facing escalating legal charges as a result of violating that order. You could also find yourself accused of intimidating a witness if the prosecutor believes you coerced the other party into refusing to testify.

When you’re facing a domestic violence charge, there’s a lot on the line. Protecting your future starts with a careful defense strategy — and understanding what lines you cannot cross during this delicate period in your life. An experienced defense attorney can guide you.