Can the state press charges and put orders in effect?

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Can the state press charges and put orders in effect?

My wife and i had a fight. Neither of us
pressed charges. I was cited with
donestic battery. Her as well. And there
is a no contact order. Is this legal?
Neither of us requested it and now i
cant even speak to my own wife. I have
court on tuesday for it.

Asked on March 13, 2019 under Criminal Law, Utah

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not to prosecute a case (i.e. drop charges) is a decision that rests with the state and not with the victim. Accordingly, a case may be prosecuted over a victim's objection and without their cooperation so long as there is enough other evidence to support  conviction. As for the no-contact order, the state had the right to request that one be put in place in order to protect you Although, you can move to have it vacated. At this point, you need to consult irectly with a local criminal law attorney who can best advise you further.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, the state can do this. Criminal charges are brought to enforce the laws, help maintain order in society, do justice, and punish wrongdoing; the state has a powerful interest in those things and can take steps to do them regardless of the victim's wishes. In a criminal case, the victim is not the "plaintiff" or in charge of the case; the victim is really just a witness to a crime.


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