The best case scenario for any criminal defense case is to have the charges dropped entirely. If you have been charged with domestic violence, you’re likely wondering if there’s any possibility that the victim could drop the charges. It’s important to know that even if the victim is no longer interested in charging you with a domestic violence crime, the charge isn’t necessarily dropped right away. State prosecutors can still continue with the charges even if the victim dropped them, depending on the specifics of the situation.
It’s the prosecutor’s call to continue or not to continue the charges because, even if the victim is no longer interested in pursuing the charge, the state may believe you could still be harmful to others. In cases where the victim and defendant are legally married, the victim of domestic violence can exercise what’s referred to as “spousal privilege” and can refuse to testify in court which would therefore dismiss the charges. Additionally, the Fifth Amendment protects the victim and provides them with the right to remain silent.
What Happens If The Victim Doesn’t Show Up To Court?
If a victim refuses to appear in court, prosecution can actually issue an arrest warrant for them. Additionally, if the victim does show up to court, but testifies that the violent incident in question did not actually occur, then they could be accused of and ultimately charged with filing a false police report. In this situation, there is a possibility that your domestic violence charges could be dropped.
If the victim does not appear in court or admits that the crime did not occur, the state can occasionally pursue the domestic violence incident without the victim’s involvement anyway. You can still be convicted of domestic violence without your victim’s testimony, because other pieces of evidence can be used to charge you. For example, medical records, other witnesses, a 911 call, security camera footage and other evidence can prove that you committed the criminal act in question.
Having your domestic violence charges dropped is no easy task. It’s crucial that you work with a lawyer who understands the ins and outs and criminal defense law in Boston and will stop at nothing to fight for your rights.
What Are The Different Forms Of Domestic Violence?
Many different forms of abuse are considered domestic violence under Massachusetts state law. These include:
- Physical abuse: Hitting, punching, shoving, or otherwise making aggressive physical contact with another all fall under the umbrella term of physical abuse. This is the most commonly occurring form of domestic violence case we see at Toland Law.
- Economic abuse: Economic abuse involves controlling or restricting the finances of a domestic partner in an attempt to intimidate, control, or harm them.
- Emotional abuse: Sometimes referred to as psychological or mental abuse, emotional abuse can involve humiliating, controlling or isolating a victim in an effort to make them feel ashamed, scared, or reliant on their abuser. Threatening and blackmail fall under the category of emotional abuse as well.
- Verbal abuse: Verbal abuse involves using harmful, insulting, threatening or violent language to intimidate or control a victim.
- Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse has occurred when a perpetratur forces a victim to engage in unwanted sexual activity. It does not matter if the victim is in a relationship or was in a past relationship with the abuser, anything against the will of another is considered sexual abuse. Sexual abuse also occurs when someone attempts to engage in sexual behavior with someone who is unable to consent (such as under the influence or unable to communicate unwillingly).
How Can An Attorney Help With Domestic Violence Charges?
In some domestic violence situations, victims had ulterior motives. Sometimes, a victim provides a false accusation, sought revenge, or otherwise accused you of violence for an unjust or unfair reason. At Toland Law, our attorneys will stop at nothing to ensure all options for your justice are uncovered. We’ll assess evidence, talk to witnesses, and form a strong case for your defense.
If the victim fought back, initiated the altercation, or otherwise contributed to the events leading up to your domestic violence arrest, our lawyers will leverage this information to defend you in court. Legally, you are not required to hire a lawyer for a domestic violence charge but, without the help of our vast legal network and resources at Toland Law, you may be at a disadvantage.
Schedule a free, no-obligation criminal case evaluation with one of our Massachusetts criminal defense lawyers today. Our team will stop at nothing to ensure you get the justice you deserve, and we’ll stop at nothing to minimize your penalties as much as possible.