If I filed a complaint against someone, can I drop the charges before the hearing?

Asked on August 27, 2013 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

It is the state and not the victim who has the right to file charges or dismiss them (the victim files a complaint not the charges). That having been said, experienced defense counsel may use the fact that the victim does not want to cooperate with the prosecution to obtain a more favorable result for the defendant. It will all come down to what, if any, other evidence there exists as to whether or not the DA will want to move forward with the case. 

Maury Beaulier / MinnesotaLawyers.com

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

No.  Only a prosecutor may file charges and only a prosecutor may dismiss charges.  They may do so regardless of the wishes of the alleged victim. 


Maury D. Beaulier

Attorney at Law

(612) 240-8005

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