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Can a Victim Drop a Domestic Violence Charge?

     Even if the victim no longer wants to pursue a domestic violence charge against someone, this does not mean that the charge will be dropped.  The prosecution can still go after you even if the victim of the domestic violence charges wishes to drop them.

   Prosecutors see it as their decision whether or not to drop domestic violence charges.  This means they can try to compel the victim to go forward even if the victim wants to dismiss the charges.

    However, if the victim and defendant are married, the victim can exercise their spousal privilege to refuse to testify in a domestic violence trial, meaning the charges would be dismissed.  The victim can also exercise their Fifth Amendment rights not to testify.

   If the victim decides not to show up to court, the prosecution can issue an arrest warrant for the victim.  If the victim testifies that the domestic violence incident did not happen, they could be charged with filing a false police report.

   Sometimes, however, the Commonwealth can go forward without the victim’s testimony at all.  This means that even if the victim wants to drop the domestic violence charges, you could be convicted at trial.  The prosecutor could use a 911 call, medical records, or the victim’s statement at the incident to go forward without them.

Domestic violence charges can carry jail time, immigration consequences, and problems for your gun rights.  This is true even if the victim does not want to go forward.

   If you’re charged with domestic violence, it’s important to hire an experienced domestic violence defense attorney who understands the consequences of a domestic violence conviction and how to best represent you.  This is true even if the victim wants to drop the domestic violence charges.

   Call me today, and we’ll get started on your defense.  If you need a domestic violence defense lawyer who will fight for you, call me now and set up a consultation at (617) 295-7500.


Although I am an attorney, I am not your attorney.  Please do not rely on anything on this page as legal advice because any specific advice would depend on your situation.  Any results posted on this page are not guarantees of outcomes in your case.

Boston Attorney

The court system is stressful, whether you’re being charged with a crime, being sued, suing someone, or fighting for your ability to stay and work in this country. You need someone who appreciates this and can dedicate the time not only to represent you effectively in court but to guide you through the process.

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