Can charges be dropped by someone if they were told the police were the ones filing charges?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can charges be dropped by someone if they were told the police were the ones filing charges?

I was involved in a domestic assault incident where a male family member assaulted me. They never had any record of assault in the past. The day of the incident, the police were called and he was arrested while I was in the ER. I never told the police I wanted to press charges when they questioned me and they never told me of a court date until 2 months later. So now I have to be in court but I don’t want to. Is there away to avoid it or for my family member to get out of the charges filed?

Asked on January 15, 2017 under Criminal Law, North Carolina


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not to withdraw and drop a case is a decision that rests with the prosecutor, not with the alleged victim. Therefore, a case may go forward and be prosecuted over the victim's objection and without their cooperation. That is so long as there is other strong evidence to support the charge. The fact is that penrosecutors are typically unwilling to drop DV cases, as they do not want offenders to think that they can intimidate thier victims and can get away with this behavior. Further, you should be aware that if you have be subpoenaed to testify in court, you must appear or risk being found in contempt and face possible jail time and/or fines.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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