Can the victim of domestic assault in Georgia drop the charges?

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Your spouse or intimate partner wasn’t the one to call the cops. A neighbor or maybe someone just walking past your house overheard a disagreement and thought they needed to intervene.

Despite both you and the other person trying to tell the police that nothing else needed to happen, they arrested you and charged you with domestic assault. These charges could affect your employment and even your right to legally own a firearm.

The very person that they claimed was the victim of the crime may have been the one to bail you out and pick you up from the police station. You know they don’t think of themselves as a victim or believe that you should go to court over what happened between the two of you. Can they also go talk to the prosecutor and get the state to drop the charges?

Victims have no authority in domestic violence cases

The only people who have the authority to determine if a crime has occurred when it comes to domestic violence or assault are the police officers who respond to a domestic violence call and the prosecutor reviewing the police report. If officers believe a crime occurred, they will file a report and send it to the prosecutor, regardless of what the alleged victim says.

This state has an official policy that the victims of domestic violence can neither ask the state to press charges nor insist that prosecutors drop pending charges. The alleged victim in your case will not be able to convince either the police or the prosecutors not to proceed with the charges.

However, they could still play a role in your defense strategy. They might help you present a version of events that makes it clear to the courts that you did not commit a criminal act, which might mean that you succeed in defending yourself in court.

You have the right to fight charges even if you can’t make the state drop them

Getting the Georgia criminal courts to drop pending domestic assault charges isn’t the only way to handle them.

Given that the other person involved in the altercation can’t influence the prosecutor any more than you can, you may want to start thinking about how to defend yourself rather than how to avoid the charges.