Hayes, Williams, Turner & Daughtry, P.A.

If your victim drops the charges, does your case go away?

You got into a fight with your girlfriend and it got out of control. The police were called. Your girlfriend made allegations that you were assaultive. You were charged with domestic violence. Now, your entire life has been turned upside down and you'd give anything for the whole case to just go away. Should you ask your girlfriend to drop the charges?

Absolutely not.

Here's what you need to understand: It isn't your girlfriend who brought charges against you in the first place. The police made the decision to arrest you, and the prosecutor is the person who decided to proceed with charges.

It's the state of North Carolina that's in charge of the trajectory of your case, not your alleged victim. Even if your girlfriend has a change of heart and doesn't want to see you go through any more legal trouble, the prosecution will not necessarily drop the charges. In fact, it's so common for actual victims of domestic violence to recant their allegations that prosecutors seldom rely solely on their testimony.

There's another important reason you shouldn't contact your girlfriend, however: The moment that you were brought up on charges of domestic violence, you were likely ordered to stay away from your victim entirely via a protective order. That means that any contact with your girlfriend could be considered a violation of that order -- which is a crime entirely of its own. Even if no protective order is in place, you could also be accused of trying to intimidate a witness -- and that's also a serious crime.

If you've been charged with domestic violence, it's far wiser -- and safer -- to put the case in your defense attorney's hands. Trying to mitigate the problem on your own can actually backfire tremendously.

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