Can an Alleged Victim of Rhode Island Domestic Violence Drop Charges?

Disagreements often occur between spouses, significant others, and family members. Unfortunately, sometimes such conflict can turn physical, which can result in a visit from law enforcement and an arrest for domestic violence in Rhode Island.

However, it is not uncommon for both parties to instantly regret the situation, leading to the alleged victim asking the police and courts to drop the charges.

Since criminal charges are brought by the state, only the prosecutor’s office has the power to drop criminal charges—not the victim.

The main reason why is because domestic violence offenses are often complex. Not only do victims who are emotionally and financially tied often dismiss bad behavior when they realize their abusers could be sent to jail or prison, but they may also be pressured or threatened by their abusers to drop the charges.

That is why the state doesn’t burden alleged victims with the authority to make such decisions. Yet, victims can petition the court to drop the no-contact order that is automatically issued after a domestic violence arrest.

If you are an alleged victim who wants to drop a domestic violence case, the following are several options available to you:

  • Hire an attorney – An experienced criminal defense lawyer can assess your situation and gather evidence that shows you are not negatively affected by domestic violence and the alleged crime is not a common occurrence.
  • Speak with the prosecutor – Although we mentioned victims do not have the authority to drop domestic violence charges, speaking or writing a letter to the prosecutor is worth the effort.
  • Provide a favorable testimony – If you made statements about the attack to the police and wish to have them recanted, your lawyer can help you find the most effective way to do so and avoid facing criminal charges if you are accused of “lying” to authorities.

For more information about domestic violence cases in Rhode Island, contact The Law Office of Thomas C. Thomasian, Esq. today at (401) 312-4385 and schedule a free consultation.