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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16328
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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WHAT ALTERNATIVES WOULD I HAVE IF TO SAY THAT I FILED A POLICE

Customer Question

WHAT ALTERNATIVES WOULD I HAVE IF TO SAY THAT I FILED A POLICE REPORT REGARDING AN ASSULT AND BATTERY CASE AND NOW I DONT WANT THE DA TO PICK UP THE CASE AND PRESS CHARGES ON THE SO CALL SUSPECT BECAUSE NOT EVERY STATEMENT THAT I MADE DURING THE INITIAL REPORT WAS TRUE BUT DONT WANT TO GET PROSECUTED BY THE DA OR GET INTO ANY LEGAL TROUBLE? AND AS FAR AS THE SO CALL SUSPECT WHAT SHOULD THEY DO OR WHAT CAN THEY DO AS FAR AS THE CHARGES THAT COULD BE BROUGHT AGAINST THEM? HOW CAN WE GET THIS SITUATION RESOLVE WITHOUT HAVING IT BEING TAKEN OUT TO COURT AND WITHOUT THE OTHER PARTY GETTING ARRESTED AND POSSIBLY BOOKED INTO COUNTY JAIL? IF THAT HAPPENS THEY WOULD GAVE TO WASTE MONEY ON BAIL AND IF THEY DONT HAVE MONEY FOR THE BAIL THE THEY WOULD HAVE TO STAY IN COUNTY JAIL UNTIL THE FIRST COURT DATE.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 9 months ago.
Hello,

My name is Fran, and I am an experienced criminal lawyer.

Because of the national focus on domestic violence, if one person calls the police because of what his spouse or fiance is doing or threatening to do, there is always an arrrest. The police must take someone in. That's become the law and there's virtually no exception.

From there the police turn the matter over to the prosecutor. At that point, the case no longer belongs to the complainant -- you may have started the arrest process by involving the police, but you don't't get to decide who finishes it - but it belongs to the prosecutor who brings charges on behalf of all people in the state.

The DA does not have to drop a charge just because you have changed your mind about wanting to go forward. You should go to the DA's office and speak to the assistant DA who is assigned to prosecute the case against this person, and tell him/her that while you told the truth when you called, you made a mistake, becuse you really don't want the case to go forward. Instead, you want to drop charges and work your problems out with the defendant together without the help of the court because you are not fearful for your safety and believe you don't need outside help. After you do this, the DA will almost certainly tell you that they can prosecute this case whether you like it or not, and that they won't drop it.. Be prepared for that because the odds are almost 100% that that's what you'll hear, at least if this is a domestic violence case.

If the prosecutor tells you that he won't let you drop and that he will continue the case, you will have to enlist the aid of the defense lawyer to double-team the prosecutor and see if he can help you to get the charges dropped. Let the defense lawyer know that you've been trying to drop and the DA won't do it. The defense lawyer should be willing to help you because you both want the same thing -- that the case against the defendant gets dismissed.

Usually when the complainant starts "holding hands with" the defense attorney and both push for a dismissal, something highly favorable to the defense can be worked out.

So, the bottom line is that if the DA refuses to let you drop before the court date, you won't be able to keep the matter out of the court. But if you then work with the defense lawyer, he should be able to resolve this fairly quickly.

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