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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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can criminal charges be dropped after they are filed......i

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can criminal charges be dropped after they are filed......i got a letter from the DA saying arraignment for charges is August 31, 2009 for and incident June 7, 2009...can the person who filed the incident report have files dropped after the DA has it?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for the chance to assist

The DA has the final say on whether to prosecute charges or not. Its known as prosecutorial discretion. SO the prosecutor will decide not only when to charge a case, but also if and when to drop it.

That said, the prosecutor is an elected official and mindful of the many factors that surround a criminal case, including the desires of the victim of the case. If the victim notifies the prosecutor that he or she no longer wants to "press charges" and does not want to assist in the prosecution of the case, in some cases the prosecutor will use this to drop the charges.

I say in some cases, since in the end its up to the prosecutor, and sometimes they will press on despite the desires of the complaining witnesses. This is particularly true in cases of domestic violence and other "hot button" issues in that particular jurisdiction.

SO, is it too late for the victim to ask for the charges to be dropped? NO. But understand that the decision is up the the prosecutor, not the victim.

Please let me know if you have further questions; if so I will do my best to answer them. If not please hit the accept button, its the only way I get credit for my work.

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