Can I drop domestic abuse charges against my boyfriend if I told the cops several times I did not want to press them but they kept insisting?

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Can I drop domestic abuse charges against my boyfriend if I told the cops several times I did not want to press them but they kept insisting?

They kept insisting and left then came back and insisted again until I finally did.

Asked on May 5, 2012 under Criminal Law, Minnesota

Answers:

Robert Johnston / Law Office of Robert J. Johnston Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No offense to the lawyer that first answered your question, but his answer was very confusing. The first sentence clearly says that you can drop the charges at any time. He then goes on to explain that you cannot.

I'm writing you just as a courtesy in case you are confused. Whether or not the charges are "dropped," is entirely up to the prosecutor.

I hope that helps.

 

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can drop charges for any offense in which you are the victim at any time.  Many people assume that because they "drop" charges that they will go away. The final decision for charges to "go away" depends on the prosecutor.  The State can always pick-up the charges, even though they are dropped by the victim.  If the assault was particularly bad or if your boyfriend has a particularly bad assaultive history, the State may decide to continue with prosecution.  If he has no history and this was an isolated incident, then they may honor your requests and drop the charges.  Even though it seems harsh that the final decision is with the prosecutor, the reasoning behind it is actually to protect victims.  Quite often, defendants threaten victims until they do proceed to drop charges.  If the final decision is not with the victim, then it reduces the emotional power that a defendant has over a victim.  See if the case has been forwarded to a prosecutor yet, then make an appointment to victim with him/her and see if you can get a better understanding of the prosecutor's reasoning for continuing with the charges. 


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