30 November
Peveto Law in Criminal Defense

How to Get Charges Dropped for Domestic Violence

Disagreements can often become heated between married couples or family members. When that results in a call to the police, both parties often regret it the next day. However, if you are hoping to make a phone call and have the charges dropped, it is never that simple.

The Steps to Drop Charges

There is a process for ensuring that the police know that you don’t want to participate in these charges any further. However, this process can differ from one county to the next. Generally speaking; however, it follows a familiar pattern.

The first step requires you to fill out an affidavit of non-prosecution. There is no formal state-wide document, but individual counties will likely provide it for you. It must be signed by the person filing it and notarized. This affidavit lets the prosecutor know that you do not want to testify or proceed further. If questions are ever raised regarding why the charge was dropped, the prosecuting attorney can rely on this to avoid scrutiny. However, that does not mean the prosecutor has to drop charges. 

Can the prosecutor proceed without me?

No matter what documents you prepare or file, the prosecutor in the case is under no obligation to dismiss your case. Unlike what you might have seen on television, once charges are filed, they are in the state’s hands. It is within the power of the prosecutor to move forward with a domestic violence charge even if the victim does not want to cooperate.

In fact, in some cases, the prosecutor can make a case whether you participate or not. If there were witnesses or video of the alleged assault, they might be comfortable building a case without you. However, if push comes to shove, the prosecutor could attempt to force you to testify with “a body attachment.”

A prosecutor has the power to have you summoned to the court. If you fail to comply, they could convince the judge to issue a body attachment. This is essentially a warrant for your arrest. It can even be used as a tool by prosecutors to pressure you into testifying “willfully.” Because of the pressure prosecutors and the police are willing to place on a victim, it could be in your best interest to hire your own legal counsel.

Contact a Defense Attorney for Guidance

At a trial for a domestic violence charge, the State of Texas is represented by the prosecutor. The defendant likewise has legal counsel. It only makes sense, then, that a testifying witness should also seek the services of an experienced Dallas domestic violence lawyer. A criminal defense lawyer can work with the court to avoid testifying– if that is your wish. They could also help you avoid any criminal liability for yourself. If you are considered dropping domestic violence charges in Texas, contact the Peveto Law Firm today.