4 Reasons Your Domestic Violence Charges May Be Dropped
Alleged victims of domestic abuse cannot drop the charges once the accusation is made. In California, technically, only the district attorney may drop domestic violence charges after an accusation. Alleged victims cannot change their minds once they call the police to the scene—at this point, the decision is out of their hands.
The good thing about the charges being out of the alleged victim’s hands is that you do not need to prove to them that the charges need to be dropped. You need to prove it to the district attorney. At Aron Law Firm, we have experience defending thousands of criminal charges and can help you build a robust defense to seek the best possible outcome.
4 Reasons Domestic Violence Charges May Be Dropped
Once an alleged victim contacts law enforcement about domestic violence, the accused person could face a criminal charge under California Penal Code 273.5 or code PC 243(e)(1). Once a criminal charge for violating PC 273.5 or PC 243(e)(1) has been put in motion, it will then become the district attorney’s decision whether or not to drop charges regardless of the alleged victim’s wishes.
Prosecutors may choose to drop charges for violating California PC 273.5 and PC 243(e)(1) in the following instances:
1. Insufficient Evidence
One of the primary reasons the prosecution may drop charges is the lack of evidence. The prosecution must show the court that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. When a prosecutor cannot establish that the defendant committed all elements that make up a domestic violence charge, they may choose to drop the charges. To prove domestic violence, the prosecution must prove the following:
- The defendant willfully touched another person.
- The touching was harmful or offensive.
- The person whom the defendant touched is or was an intimate partner.
When one or more of these elements are difficult or nearly impossible to prove, the prosecution cannot move forward with the charges and will likely elect to drop them.
2. Inconsistent Statements
Prosecutors review the alleged victim and the defendant’s statements before proceeding with the charges. In some cases of domestic violence allegations, the victim may make two statements—one to the responding officer and a written statement. If the statements are inconsistent, the witness may be deemed unreliable. Other times, the alleged victim’s story does not match their injuries. Sometimes a witness or alleged victim changes their story. All these instances create doubt in the case, and they must be able to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
3. No Visible Injuries
Not having visible injuries does not mean that domestic violence did not occur, nor is it a requirement for a defendant to face domestic violence charges. However, a prosecutor needs evidence of harmful or offensive touch to charge a person with domestic violence. While the evidence does not need to be physical injury, the lack of visible injury may make it more challenging to prove the offense occurred.
4. No Independent Witness
Many domestic violence acts are committed between people in a familial relationship and go unwitnessed. Having no witnesses does not mean the defendant cannot be arrested. A prosecutor may still charge a person with domestic violence, even without a witness, if the following applies:
- New and visible injuries
- Statements by the two parties involved
- Signs of fighting at the crime scene
However, if the statements are conflicting and there are no independent witnesses (witnesses outside of the defendant and victim), it may be more challenging to prove the crime occurred.
Contact Aron Law Firm to Face Domestic Violence Charges Together
The attorneys at Aron Law Firm have extensive practice negotiating with prosecutors and the district attorney’s office to help our clients receive more favorable terms when facing criminal charges for PC 273.5 and PC 243(e)(1) violations. When you partner with our firm, you can trust our experienced legal team will craft a compelling case. The sooner you contact Aron Law Firm, the sooner you can gain a deeper understanding of your charges and take action to defend yourself.
Facing domestic violence charges may severely impact your career and reputation. At Aron Law Firm, we act fast to help protect your legal rights and best interests. Contact us today at (805) 618-1768 or complete our contact form.