When Can Domestic Violence Charges Be Dismissed?

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Domestic violence situations between domestic partners or spouses can be complex. Sometimes the victim, the spouse of the offender, may not want to press charges and stop the case. But, once the victim has gone to the police and the prosecutor has taken over, can domestic violence charges be dropped?

The Prosecutor, Not the Victim, is in Charge

When it comes to filing for assault or domestic violence charges, it is not the victim that calls the shots. Even if the victim wishes to recant or dismiss charges, the prosecution can pursue domestic violence charges against the defendant. The case is brought against the defendant by the state – not the victim. The prosecutor, therefore, determines whether or not they will move forward with that case or if they will drop the charges.

Most jurisdictions in the state of Colorado have a zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence and abuse. Therefore, they impose harsh penalties against those offenders and rarely drop charges.

What Instances Lead to Dropped Charges?

In some cases, the prosecution may decide not to pursue the case. These situations can include:

  1. When the victim is uncooperative. If the victim refuses to testify or is uncooperative, the prosecution may drop the case. This is because they may need the testimony in court to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt and without it, they will not have much of a case against the defendant.
  2. There is a significant lack of evidence. Domestic violence charges can be dismissed if there is a lack of evidence or the evidence collected is inadmissible to the court. Even if the victim cooperates, the prosecutor can drop charges if they feel the case cannot win in court. That being said, they must first consult with the victim and notify them if the defendant will be released from jail or charges will be dismissed.
  3. The defendant agrees to alternative resolutions. Sometimes a defendant and prosecutor can work out an alternative resolution that avoids jail time. This can include counseling or rehabilitation.

Were You Arrested for Domestic Violence? Speak with a Criminal Defense Attorney Immediately

Just because the victim will not press charges does not mean that the prosecution will dismiss the case. If you have been arrested for domestic violence, it is imperative you speak with a criminal defense attorney. The state of Colorado has a zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence offenders and they impose harsh penalties against those accused of domestic violence. Because these cases are often based on the word of the alleged victim, it is even more important that you seek criminal counsel right away. Christian A. Schwaner, P.C. can help. Contact him today for a no obligation consultation regarding your case at 719-577-9700 or fill out an online contact form with your questions.

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