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My wife and I had a dispute. She punched me the face. She…

My wife and I...

My wife and I had a dispute. She punched me the face. She was arrested. I don't want to press charges. What do I need to do

Lawyer's Assistant: What were you charged with exactly? Do you have any upcoming court dates?

I was not charged, she was. No court dat that I know of, it was last night

Lawyer's Assistant: In what state did this occur?

CA

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Answered in 40 minutes by:
3/15/2018
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 30,033
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

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You need to talk to the prosecutor assigned to the case against your wife and let him or her know how you feel about the case and that you don't want to go forward.

You are the alleged victim in this case, and without your cooperation and if there are no other witnesses, the state won't be able to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor should be willing to talk to you, because they will almost always talk to their complainants.

You should try talking to the prosecutor in person, rather than over the phone so that the prosecutor can see your sincerity and ask you any follow-ups he thinks are necessary. You will need to convince him that you will not be at risk if he drops the charges and/or lifts the protective order. He has the complete discretion to drop the charges if he feels that it is the best way to go forward.

That said, in my experience, as a matter of office policy with DV cases, the prosecutor will probably tell you that the state can choose to go forward with this case whether you cooperate or not. He may tell you that if you refuse to cooperate and testify against the defendant, he can subpoena you , bring you into court in handcuffs, if necessary, put you on the stand and require you to testify. He can tell you that if you change your story, he can charge you with perjury. These facts are all perfectly true.

However, as I mentioned earlier in this answer, you are the state's key witness. The prosecutor needs you. So if you stick to your guns and tell the prosecutor that you want the charges dropped, most prosecutors will eventually opt to cut their losses, once they are sure that nobody is forcing you to drop the charges, and once they are sure that you are going to be safe. Most prosecutors do not like to spend time, energy and money going to trial with a reluctant complainant and a case they may, therefore, lose.

So if he won't agree to drop the charges, at that point you need to get a hold of the defense lawyer and let him know you've been trying to get the prosecutor to drop the charges but that he will not do it and ask him how you can help him to get the case dismissed.

In my experience, when the complainant and the defense lawyer join forces to double-team a prosecutor to convince him drop charges, something favorable to the defendant, even if it's not a direct dismissal, can almost always be worked out.

So, in short, the prosecutor is the only one who can drop this case, but the process starts with you letting him or her know that they don't want to go forward.

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Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 30,033
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 30,033
30,033 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.

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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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