For those charged with a crime, they know that crafting a defense early can make all the difference. Building a solid defense starts with that very first call to your lawyer. And, especially in domestic violence cases, where the reported aggrieved party has decided they no longer want to pursue charges, you may wonder if you can use that person to help your Houston, Texas, case.
Drop the case
First, let us dispel the myth of the reported victim dropping a case. The idea that someone who reported a crime can subsequently drop the charges against the supposed wrongdoer is a myth. A victim cannot drop charges against their attacker, period.
Who drops the case then?
Whichever governmental agency is charging you is the only entity that can drop the case against you. This means the prosecuting attorney (and their bosses) at the local, state or federal level are the only people who can drop (dismiss) the charges you face.
How can I get them to drop my case?
Realistically, there is not much you can do to get them to drop your case. Your attorney can make arguments with them based on the facts to get them to drop or lower your charges. But, ultimately, that decision rests with the prosecuting attorney.
Does the alleged victim have any power?
Yes. The alleged Houston, Texas, victim has the ability to testify for the defense, though, they would commit perjury, if they lie. This means that their testimony may not be advisable, at least from their perspective. Plus, remember that they can be cross-examined by the prosecutor as well. The alleged victim could also refuse to participate in the case, but the prosecuting attorney could subpoena them to testify, and again, any untruthful testimony would be perjury.
However, the alleged victim can ask the prosecuting attorney to drop the case. The alleged victim’s wants and needs are a huge factor in how prosecuting attorneys decide to proceed (or not proceed) with their cases. A passionate plea for leniency or dismissal can go a long way in getting a case dropped.
If the alleged victim in your case has changed their mind and does not want to be part of the criminal prosecution against you, let your attorney know. Your attorney can work with them and their attorney to help build your case, and they may be able to convince the Houston, Texas, prosecuting attorney to drop, lessen the charges or work out some other alternative deal.