What would a victim have to do to have an assault charge dropped?

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What would a victim have to do to have an assault charge dropped?

Domestic Violence, Assault Charge in the 4th Degree. The victim wants her statement retracted and charges dropped due to her state of mind and time of evening as she takes nightly medication for sleep and mental health issues; at the time she was also on pain medication for a legitimate ailment. She was asked to sign a statement at 3 am after being up for 1 hour and having taken her medication that make her sleep uninterrupted for 8 hours. She initiated the physical misconduct and could not recall what happened and was directed to get her story straight. Despite the interaction between us she and I have a no contact order but she would also like that dropped.

Asked on June 14, 2014 under Criminal Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The victim can ask the prosecution to drop the charges, but cannot require them to do so--the case is not under her control (the way a lawsuit would be, if she had sued you), but rather is under the control of the authorities; as the victim, she is "complaining witness" in a criminal case, but is not a party to it. She should go about requesting the charges be dropped by contacting the prosecutor's office, and should explain to them the factors you list: on pain, sleep, and mental health medication; sleep deprived at time; her role in initiating the conduct; her desire to have the charges dropped; etc. She can also contact the court and ask them how she'd go about getting thhe no-contract order dropped--it will probably involve making a motion, and she would be well-advised, if she wants to do this, to get a family law attorney to help her out.


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