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Domestic violence is a dangerous offense and one that law enforcement takes seriously. An argument between domestic partners can escalate quickly. When it does, it may result in someone doing something to try to harm the other person. In some cases, both parties resort to physical touching or throwing things as they get angry. When the police arrive at a domestic dispute call, they will evaluate the situation and talk to both parties to determine what needs to happen. Sometimes, a person gets charged with domestic violence. If you are found guilty of domestic violence charges, it could have a profound impact on your life. 

 

What are Domestic Violence Charges?

 

Domestic violence is also called domestic abuse. It is aggressive or violent behavior in the home, typically of a spouse or intimate partner. Domestic violence is a common occurrence and police respond to thousands of domestic calls a year. The police make the decision as to whether to arrest someone for domestic violence. Domestic violence charges may be either a misdemeanor or felony. If you are found guilty of domestic violence, you will face a variety of penalties that may include some time in jail, fines, anger management treatment, and more. Further, the victim of domestic violence may seek a protective order against the perpetrator for a period of time. 

 

Can Someone Request Not to Press Charges?

 

When the police respond to a report of domestic violence they are required to investigate the situation. Law enforcement will talk to each party separately to determine what happened. One of the most important factors in determining how the police proceed is whether there are any visible injuries to either person. If there are injuries, the police generally will arrest the person who inflicted the injuries. In some instances, both parties can be arrested. If the police find probable cause to believe that a person was injured by another, they must arrest the primary aggressor. 

 

Can a Domestic Violence Alleged Victim Drop Charges?

 

Once someone is charged with domestic violence, the charges are in the hands of the legal system. Only the district attorney is able to drop charges including domestic violence charges. The alleged victim may have regrets or second thoughts about calling the police for a domestic incident and might not want the charges to continue. If you want the charges dropped, you can let the district attorney know your desire. The alleged victim can complete an “affidavit of non-prosecution.” The affidavit is a sworn statement that you do not want to proceed with domestic violence charges. Be aware that the prosecutor can and often does proceed with charges, regardless of receiving your affidavit. However, the prosecutor may find it much more difficult to proceed when the alleged victim is non-cooperative. 

 

Can Domestic Violence Charges be Dismissed?

 

It is possible to get domestic violence charges dismissed under some circumstances. An experienced criminal defense attorney will represent your case and make a motion to the court for dismissal. There are grounds under which it may be possible to dismiss domestic violence charges. 

 

  • If there is not enough evidence to prove that abuse happened.
  • If your rights were violated during the arrest process

 

If charges are not dropped, there are some ways to defend domestic violence charges. For instance, your lawyer can provide evidence that you were acting in self defense, if you were falsely accused, or if the injuries occurred by accident. 

 

If you are involved in a domestic violence case it is helpful to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. Contact our experienced criminal defense team at David Lehr Law at (805) 477-0070 for a free case evaluation.