The events surrounding a domestic dispute are usually complicated. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, misunderstandings happen, and violence erupts. However, when the police come over, the situation is no longer private for you to resolve.
The police are required by law to make an arrest if there is probable cause that a domestic violence offense has been committed. Additionally, an arrest will be made if the arresting officer determines that an assault is involved or if a restraining order has been violated.
It’s the prosecutor, not the victim who decides what happens next
A prosecutor will ultimately determine whether charges should be filed. The victim has no control over the situation, and the charges will not be dropped at the victim’s request.
A lot of domestic violence defendants make the mistake of trying to talk to their alleged victim to see if they can sort out any misunderstandings, apologize or ask for compassion. However, doing so will often put a defendant in violation of a no-contact order imposed by the court to protect the victim.
Defendants need to read and understand any protective orders they are under so that they do not aggravate their own legal troubles. Even contact via social media, text message or a third party can be enough to put them in violation – and that will lead to additional criminal charges. In fact, a defendant can be convicted of violating a protective order even if they aren’t convicted of the underlying domestic violence charge.
If you are facing domestic violence charges, consider seeking legal assistance to protect your rights and your future. A domestic violence charge isn’t the same as a conviction. Learning more about your legal options can help.