Can I drop charges on my ex-boyfriend for a first time domestic dispute?

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Can I drop charges on my ex-boyfriend for a first time domestic dispute?

My ex-boyfriend beat me up and I pressed charges. I had calls from previous arguments before this specific situation and he recently committed a felony. The officer also charged him with a felony from the fight. I want to drop the fight charges without getting in trouble but I made a recorded statement. I know that I probably could do anything about the recent crime but I don’t want the fights charges on him. We have a child together and I know he has never done anything major before this and I don’t and he doesn’t want to be out of her life.

Asked on November 12, 2011 under Criminal Law, Louisiana

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to understand something here. Whether or not to prosecute a case (i.e. drop charges) rests with the prosecutor and not with the victim. What this means is that your case may be prosecuted over your objection. Clearly the state's case would be stronger if you cooperated but if there is other strong evidence to support the charge, the case can still go forward. 

However, the fact of the matter is that an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to use the fact that you do not want to cooperate to obtain a favorable result for your ex-boyfriend. They may possibly be able to talk the prosecutor into dismissing/reducing the charges. However, prosecutors can be unwilling to drop these types of cases because they do not want offenders to think that if they can intimidate a victim, they can get away with this behavior. Additionally, your ex has a history of criminal behavior.

Also, you gave a recorded statement. You can deviate from what you said in the statement but you may open yourself up to charges. However, you must tell the truth, so decide whatthat is and stick to it. You should also be aware that if you are subpoenaed to testify at trial (if there is one), you must appear or risk being found in contempt of court.

At this point, you should speak directly with a criminal law attorney as to all of this.


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