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Barrister
Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 34728
Experience:  16 years practicing criminal defense.
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My vehicle was vandalized by a person keying it requiring

Customer Question

My vehicle was vandalized by a person keying it requiring two doors to be repainted. My son caught the man doing it and detained him until police arrived. The man was arrested. Now the man and his lawyers are trying to contact my son at the bar where he works. My son told the police that he wanted charges pressed. This happened two weeks ago. At this point my son and I are willing to have the charges dropped if he makes restitution. The cost of the door repainting will run up to a 1,000 each. The cost of an equivalent vehicle will be $200 a day and I assume it will be in shop for five days. As the victims of the crime are we allowed to discuss restitution with the perpetrator at this time and then have the charges dropped?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 7 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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What most people in situations like this don't realize is that once someone is arrested and charged with a crime, the case is then between the defendant and the state. The victim in the situation will just be a witness for the prosecution when they move forward to try to prove their case.

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The person who called the police has no authority to "drop the charges" after the police have arrested someone after a crime has occurred. The District Attorney files the charges against the defendant and only he can modify or drop them.

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A witness or victim can refuse to help the prosecutor and not testify, but if there is other evidence like photos, police testimony or witnesses, and physical injury, then while it will make their case a little more difficult, they can still proceed.

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But if there was no admission by the defendant, then essentially if you refuse to testify the prosecutor will have to go off the police phone call and any officer testimony about what they saw at the scene.

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However, the prosecutor rarely actually cares about this type of thing as much as they would a physical injury case. So if you can get something worked out where they delay prosecuting and the guy pays you back, then they are normally happy to dismiss the case as it means less work for them.

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But you would want to have the money in hand before any charges are dismissed because if the guy takes off after that and doesn't pay, then you are stuck trying to find him and sue him.

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So personally, I wouldn't approach the DA about dismissing the case and would rather have him ordered to pay you as restitution under the court's supervision as they can just throw him in jail if he doesn't pay.

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thanks

Barrister