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Can the wrong person be charged with domestic violence?

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2022 | Domestic Abuse

The state of Washington defines domestic violence as any crime occurring against parents or grandparents, siblings, spouses, adults who live or have children together, or romantically involved people.

According to the law, police officers must make an arrest when called to a domestic violence situation if they believe the act could have happened in the last four hours. It is up to officers to determine who is most responsible for the crime, and they do not need witnesses or physical evidence to make an arrest. Heated arguments and exaggerated stories may result in the arrest of an innocent person, the victim or a person who acted lawfully.

Can the accusor get the charges dropped?

The state oversees all arrests and charges for domestic violence. The other party is a witness and has no control over getting the charges dropped. Even if a witness does not assist the prosecutor, the district attorney may proceed with the prosecution. The only way to get the charges dropped is by approval from a judge.

What happens if the defendant did not commit domestic violence?

The state can proceed with charges regardless of a person’s plea of innocence. The defense has various options for counteracting the prosecution, such as:

  • Requesting dismissal in cases where the state can not prove the defendant’s willful intent to harm
  • Providing contradicting evidence that disproves the allegations
  • Proving the aggressor was another party
  • Asserting the defendant acted legally or in self-defense
  • Illustrating that law enforcement violated a defendant’s rights

Domestic violence arrests can happen to the wrong people. Knowing how to proceed makes a significant impact on the case’s outcome.