Knowing a Victim’s Rights with Domestic Violence Charges

Domestic violence is something that happens across the country on a far too regular basis. With such a horrible situation, you’d think that a victim would never look back, but that isn’t true. After the charge is filed against the abuser, the victim often rethinks their stance. Statistics show that a whopping 80-90% of people go on to ask the question – can the victim drop domestic violence charges?

Police are often called when a domestic situation in Las Vegas escalates and the victim is scared for their safety. They are not always aware of the full process and what the ramifications of a domestic violence charge are. While they obviously want the violence against them to be stopped, that doesn’t always mean they want the perpetrator to be put behind bars and face some rather serious legal issues. It’s also very common for the victim to feel the need to protect the abuser.

To answer the question in simple terms, once charges have been filed, there is no way a victim can reverse it. Here’s a closer look at the reasons behind this answer.

Why Can’t the Charge Be Dropped?

Here’s where the common misconception lies. The criminal charge is actually governed and filed by the state, rather than the victim. This means it’s not up to the victim whether the charge is set in place, so they have no control over whether or not it is dropped. The case is placed with the state prosecutor’s office, who will then take a closer look at the investigation. The state may decide on its own not to proceed with the charges, but the victim has no say in this.

The Victim’s Role

Even though the victim is not the person who levies domestic abuse charges, the victim’s role is not done. Should the state decide to proceed with the charges, the victim will be involved in the case. The charges can actually end up in a Las Vegas court, and if this is the case, the victim will most likely need to testify. Some people believe they can choose not to testify, but this isn’t true, either. If the victim refuses, they may be charged with a crime themselves or be given a fine. If the victim had wanted to have the charge dropped, this is actually an opportunity for them to explain their side of the story and offer their thoughts and opinions.

Keep in mind, if the victim goes to the police and ask to “recant” (take back) their statement, they are essentially saying that they lied in their original statement to the police. Investigators will be able to go through the evidence and determine what the truth is, and the victim could end up facing criminal charges for providing law enforcement and the court with false information. This can make the situation a whole lot worse. In most cases, the best step a victim can take is to hire a local Las Vegas domestic violence attorney, who can discuss how things work and what the victim’s best options are in the proceedings. This professional advice and help can make the process much simpler and keep the victim out of legal trouble.

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