Domestic violence situations can often be chaotic and confusing for everyone involved, including law enforcement officials who report to the scene. When Virginia police respond to a domestic disturbance, they may issue domestic violence charges against you or your spouse.
In many cases, an alleged victim of family violence who may have made false allegations against their spouse will want to drop the charges that have now been issued. It is important for those charged with domestic violence to know that the alleged victim is essentially powerless when it comes to dropping the charges. Once an officer or Virginia prosecutor has charged someone with domestic violence, it is up to the state to determine whether to go forward with your case or drop the charges.
While the alleged victim cannot drop the charges, they can recant their original statement to investigators. This allows those who have lied to authorities about the events that occurred to come forward with the truth. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the case will be dropped against you. Prosecutors may use other evidence such as photographs and police reports to go forward with your case.
In a criminal case, the prosecution will have to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In addition to the criminal case, an alleged victim may also choose to bring a civil suit against you. Civil suits only require a preponderance of evidence, which makes civil suits easier to win. However, criminal cases can also be won with a solid defense strategy in place. In criminal court, it is important to remember that you are innocent until you are proven guilty.
Source: FindLaw, “Can the Victim Drop Domestic Violence Charges?” accessed on June 22, 2015