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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 12620
Experience:  Attorney
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Can you drop charges against a person after the arraignment

Customer Question

Can you drop charges against a person after the arraignment hearing? It has to do with domestic violence 273.5 & 273A(A)F

Do I as the victim have any say in the sentence that might be given if any at all?

And is this considered family law or criminal law?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 6 years ago.
Hello there:

This is a criminal law matter.

Regardless of what decades of movies and television have told us, is not up to the individual victim to decide whether to "press charges"--even though they may take into account the victim's wishes, it is law enforcement's decision alone whether to pursue. If law enforcement wants to pursue the case, it is within their right to do so. They just have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The charges can be dropped after the arraignment at the discretion of the District Attorney's Office. They can and they will take the victim's wishes into consideration, but they are not bound by those wishes. The defendant will be offered a public defender at the arraignment (if this has not already happened) and the public defender will appear at every court hearing thereafter. Get in touch with the Public Defender either in person or through the county public defender's office to let them know your position; they can use your information to help the defendant in his case.

I hope that this helps you to understand the law in your situation. Let me know if I may be of further assistance. Thank you.