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Can one spouse drop charges against the other spouse?

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2020 | Domestic Abuse

Let’s say there is a 911 call. The police get to the house and there is a husband and wife who have been arguing. The wife accuses the husband of committing an act of domestic violence against her. Can that wife later decide that she wants to drop the charges against her husband? The answer is absolutely not.

According to FindLaw, the only person who could drop charges in a criminal prosecution for domestic violence is the prosecutor. Only the prosecutor can evaluate the case and then decide to drop charges. A lot of people think that if the victimized spouse goes to the prosecutor on or before the trial and says she does not want to press charges, the prosecutor will just drop the case. That is not what happens at all. Even if the spouse asked the prosecutor not to proceed any further with the case, the prosecutor is going to most likely put the other spouse on the stand and force her to testify against her husband about the incident alleged in the criminal complaint of domestic violence.

And then what happens is if the spouse denies that she made those statements or she tries to minimize what happened to help her husband out, the prosecutor can then introduce her prior statement. This is where she did allege what she told the police where she alleged that her husband hit her, pushed her or whatever active domestic violence was committed. So the problem with that is, the judge can then look at the statements that she gave previously and convict the defendant based on those statements alone after she has been imputed on the stand.