I am charged with sexual battery but the complaining witness does not wish to press charges or testify, what are the chances that a lawyer can get this dismissed at arraignment?

I am charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. The complaining party expressed that she never filed charges, never wanted to file charges, and will not be filing charges and wishes to not pursue this or testify. She was asked by the police officer filing the report if she wanted to file charges multiple times and she said no every time.

Asked on October 2, 2017 under Criminal Law, Virginia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not to file charges is up to the state, not the alleged victim. Accordingly, if there is enough other evidence sufficient to support a conviction, then the victim's testimony and cooperation are not necessary. In other words, the case can still move forward without it. That having been said, legal represention may result in the charges being dropped, depending on the circumstances. At this point, you should consult directly with a local criminal law attorney as they can best advise you further.

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