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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 87437
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I have been charged with 4th degree assault for hitting a guy

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I have been charged with 4th degree assault for hitting a guy in a bar. He has since indicated he is going to drop the charges but i am not sure what that will mean. Am I done, do I still have to go to court, how do I verify?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Ely replied 10 months ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply.

I am very sorry for your situation. In this case, please know that if a criminal charge has been filed, the county's prosecuting attorney (informally also known as the DA) picks up the charge.

It would be the prosecuting attorney who decided whether or not to continue the criminal matter, or not. The individual you got into a fight with is the complaining witness, but once the complaining witness makes a complaint and it is picked up, it is out of their hands. The onus is on the prosecuting attorney to drop the charges.

However, the prosecuting attorney may still elect to proceed with the criminal case. This is their choice. But without their star witness willing to testify on the prosecutor's behalf voluntarily, the prosecutor's case is likely to fall apart.

Someone in your situation may wish to have the complaining witness send the prosecuting attorney's office a LETTER formally requesting that the charges be dropped. Then, one can - through an attorney - see what the prosecuting attorney's response would be.

The prosecuting attorney can then decide to yet continue, or, is more likely to "decline prosecution at this time," which would essentially mean they have dropped the matter.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 87437
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Ely and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

So would I need to contact the prosecutors office to determine if he did contact them recommending dropping the charges? If he does then would I work with the prosecutor directly or should I still get a lawyer to handle all that to be safe (in your opinion)?

Expert:  Ely replied 10 months ago.
J,

So would I need to contact the prosecutors office to determine if he did contact them recommending dropping the charges?

Correct. Note - any discussion of the case with the DA should be via an attorney, only. The DA is not your friend - their job is to prosecute you.

If he does then would I work with the prosecutor directly or should I still get a lawyer to handle all that to be safe (in your opinion)?

I would get an attorney immediately. The DA may not even talk to you without counsel, and even if they do, anything you say may hurt you.

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