Couples argue from time to time. Sometimes those arguments get out of hand. Occasionally they go too far and someone calls the police. That, in turn, will likely lead to one partner (or both) being arrested and charged with domestic violence. Often, we have clients who have been charged with domestic violence tell us that their wife/husband/partner wants to drop domestic violence charges. Unfortunately, once you have been charged with domestic violence in San Diego getting the charges dropped isn’t that simple.
Just a generation ago domestic violence was a subject matter that was often ignored or “swept under the carpet.” Law enforcement often considered all but the most serious domestic violence situations to be a private matter and frequently failed to investigate much less arrest a batterer. Society preferred to turn the other cheek, causing victims to live in shame and fear. Over the past several decades, however, campaigns by private advocacy groups and government agencies has led to an increased awareness about the prevalence of domestic violence as well as the danger to a victim if a batterer is not stopped. Therefore, the pendulum has swung the other direction. Now, law enforcement tends to make an arrest first and ask questions later. While this change in philosophy has undoubtedly saved lives it has also led to unnecessary arrests.
If an argument got out of hand, and an arrest was made, the prosecuting attorney will then review the report and decide whether or not charge the alleged batterer. Once charges are actually filed, the alleged victim cannot simply “drop the charges” as was possible in years past. The reason for this is that in the past true victims were frequently pressured or threatened into dropping charges or recanting statements. To prevent this, only the prosecuting attorney has the power to dismiss charges once they are filed. Therefore, if you have been charged with domestic violence in San Diego your partner cannot simply drop the charges and everything goes back to normal.
That does not mean the alleged victim has no say in how the case proceeds. As is the case in any prosecution where a victim is involved, the prosecutor will likely try and speak to the alleged victim when deciding whether to pursue the case or not. Your partner may be able to influence the decision to proceed or dismiss charges in this manner; however, the prosecutor will make the ultimate decision.
If you find yourself charged with San Diego domestic violence and your wife/husband wants to drop the charges, consult with an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The more the State of California has invested in the case the less likely a dismissal is, meaning that time is of the essence.
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