Domestic violence is a staple of television and movie narratives. Another staple is that the DV is not prosecutable because the alleged victim keeps dropping the charges. This leads some facing DV charges to believe that they can reconcile with their spouses, which will then, lead to dropped charges. Is that right?
Can DV victims drop criminal charges?
In a word, no. Once you face DV charges, not even the police can drop those charges. The only person that can drop the DV charges is the Kent, Washington, prosecuting attorney (or their supervisor).
What if they do not want to participate?
If the alleged DV victim does not want to participate in your prosecution anymore, the Kent, Washington, prosecuting attorney will need to make a decision. If there is enough evidence without the victim’s testimony, they may feel they do not need their testimony. However, if they feel like they need their testimony, they could force it through a subpoena with the threat of jail. They could even force them to testify to the original facts as stated to the policy at the scene or face jail themselves.
Can the alleged victim help the charged?
Yes. But, you, as the charged, should not reach out or talk to the victim directly without speaking with your attorney first. The victim should reach out to their own attorney, who should reach out to your attorney. They should talk first, and then, if they decide it is in your best interests, the alleged victim may become part of your defense.
What can I do?
The best thing you can do is to not get into any more trouble and to listen to your attorney. This means not talking to the alleged victim. Follow both the judge’s orders and your attorney’s advice. While neither is a guarantee that you will get out of this situation unscathed, it will mean that you do not make the situation worse.