If I was the victim of domestic assualt but have no desire to press charges against my girlfriend, am I obligated to attend and, if I don’t, what happens?

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If I was the victim of domestic assualt but have no desire to press charges against my girlfriend, am I obligated to attend and, if I don’t, what happens?

The preliminary hearing is tomorrow.

Asked on October 23, 2014 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) If you don't attend, you can be found in "contempt of court" and face penalties, up to and including jail time.

2) It's not up to you, even though you were the victim, whether or not to press charges or proceed with the case--you're not in control of it. It's up to the prosecutor. The prosecutor *may* (but is not obligated to) take your feelings on the matter into account, so if you haven't yet, speak with the prosecutor and let him/her know that you would prefer if the case is dropped and why.

 


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