Can a victim drop charges?

Charges cannot and will not be dropped simply because the victim makes this request. This is true whether the defendant and the victim have resumed their relationship or remain separated. You can honestly tell the defendant that the decision is out of your hands.

Domestic violence charges may not be heard in municipal court for a month or longer. When domestic violence charges will be resolved through a jury trial, the case may not be completed for many months. During that time victims of domestic violence are placed under great pressure to "drop" the charges. The offender’s family may pressure you to drop charges or try to make you feel guilty about the charges.

Who to Contact

There are often bail conditions for a civil restraining order in effect which prohibits the defendant from having contact with you or possessing firearms. If the defendant is violating these court orders, please call your local police immediately.

If you are being harassed or threatened if the charges are not dropped, let the police know right away. Please contact the Prosecutor’s Office the next business day and let the Domestic Violence Prosecutor or Victim/Witness staff know as well.

Show All Answers

1. What is domestic violence?
2. Can a victim drop charges?
3. Where will charges be heard?