When Are Domestic Violence Charges Dropped?
When police are called to the scene of a possible domestic assault, it’s not uncommon for someone to be taken to jail. A few states, like Wisconsin and Minnesota, even have mandatory arrest laws requiring a police officer to take someone into custody during a domestic violence situation. This isn’t true in Nebraska, but police are still encouraged to make an arrest to separate the two parties and prevent further abuse.
But just as there are many reasons one can be arrested for domestic violence, there are many ways these charges can be dismissed.
A Victim Refuses to Testify
At Berry Law: Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Lawyers, we commonly receive inquiries from people asking for help dropping domestic violence charges against husbands, wives, or partners. The simple answer is no. Once charges are filed by the police or State Prosecutor’s Office, the victim has no power to revoke charges. From this point forward, it is a criminal case, and criminal cases are handled by the State.
This doesn’t mean the victim has to cooperate. The prosecution cannot force testimony out of someone who recants his or her story or fails to show up for trial dates. An uncooperative victim will make it more difficult for prosecutors to carry their burden of proof, which could result in charges being dropped.
Lack of Evidence
If someone was taken to jail based on a neighbor’s eyewitness testimony, the prosecution will probably need more evidence to make a case.
Winning a criminal case is already difficult for prosecutors, as they have the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Even if it is likely the accused is guilty and there is circumstantial evidence linking him or her to the crime (someone overheard the accused threatening the victim with violence the week before, for example), it still may not be enough. If no one directly witnessed a fight take place and there are no indicating marks on a victim’s body, it is likely a domestic violence case will be dropped.
Hiring a Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
Many people accused of domestic violence will hire an attorney to help evade charges, even in cases when the accused knows he or she did not commit a crime.
An attorney can immediately begin an investigation of the case, collecting evidence that supports the accused’s side of the story. An attorney can also make sure that his client is not overcharged by communicating with the judge and prosecuting attorney. He or she also can step in whenever law enforcement wants to ask questions. A suspect always has the right to remain silent and an attorney can remind him to exercise that right.
After being arrested or charged, we understand that you are likely experiencing anxiety about your future. The moment you walk through our doors and hire us, we will do the worrying for you. Our team of skilled legal professionals will fully educate you on your options so you can make informed decisions every step of the way.
Berry Law: Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Lawyers has been defending the Constitutional rights of clients in Nebraska for over 50 years. Contact us today.