If I was charged for domestic assault but was never told I was being arrested or read Miranda rights, can I get the charges dropped?

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If I was charged for domestic assault but was never told I was being arrested or read Miranda rights, can I get the charges dropped?

My husband and I got into an argument and I smacked him and then he pushed me. Later the police came and put us both in handcuffs even though we were never told we were arrested or read our Miranda rights. We were taken to the police precinct and fingerprinted. Neither of us pressed charges against the other. We both attended the arraignment and now have a court date. He has hired an attorney but I have not. This is both of our first offense. Can the charges be dropped before the court date?

Asked on October 22, 2010 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There are several issues going on here.  First of all, your Miranda rights need only be read to you if you are arrested and then questioned (other than for your name, address, age, etc).  If you are arrested and not questioned then your rights need not be read to you.  Secondly, it's not up to you to "press charges".  Whether or not to prosecute a case (i.e.drop charges) is a decision that rests with the prosecutor and not with the victim.  What that means, is that case may be prosecuted over your objection.  While the states case would be stronger with your testimony, if there is other evidence to support the charge the prosecutor may still decide to go forward with the case.

Finally, you should take your husbands's lead and hire a lawyer.  An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to have the charges dismissed, reduced, or otherwise resolved favorably.   


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