How to Get a Domestic Violence Case Dismissed
A domestic violence charge is an offense that is hard to get out of legally. If you’re convicted, you could face jail time and be stripped of your rights and freedoms. But a charge doesn’t have to seal your fate.
If you’ve been wrongfully accused of domestic violence, you may have several options to get your case dismissed in court – here’s how.
Domestic Violence Case Dismissals
A criminal case can end in three ways – a plea agreement, trial, or dismissal.
A dismissal happens when prosecutors drop the charges against you, and the case ends in your favor without risk of a trial. It’s important to note that a judge can not dismiss your case. Instead, you’ll appeal directly to the prosecutor or district attorney (those building the case against you).
With that said, your case will need clear evidence to get charges dropped. You should hire a criminal defense attorney to work with the prosecution on your behalf.
In most domestic violence cases, there will need to be a factual or legal issue with your case to be granted a dismissal. That could mean that the evidence against you is questionable, or how your case was handled caused an issue.
Getting Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed
Domestic violence charges aren’t taken lightly. Depending on state laws, a conviction could cost you months in prison, thousands of dollars in fines, and a lifelong criminal record.
Yet, although you’ve been charged, the prosecution must still prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You can keep a clean criminal record and get your case dismissed by following the steps below.
Collect Evidence That Proves You Didn’t Commit a Crime
The first step in getting an alleged domestic abuse complaint dismissed is to gather evidence. The police report often relies upon the victim’s statement and ignores the accused’s statements.
Protect yourself by keeping a written record of your account of the incident. If witnesses are involved, collect their statements to use in your case. Photographs, videos, text messages, and other tangible evidence can all be used to build an evidence-based defense on your behalf.
Building evidence is key to proving your innocence if you are falsely accused of domestic violence.
Attend All of Your Court Dates and Dress Appropriately
An individual who is present on all court dates, shows interest in their case, and dresses appropriately will show a judge and prosecutor they have taken their charges seriously – it also helps negotiations. Perception is key when operating in the criminal justice system and can give you the upper hand when dealing with an assault case.
Obtain Police Reports
A good police report should fully account for what has been reported. You should review it for accuracy and see if the report has inconsistencies. If the alleged victim’s allegations or recollections appear to change over time, you may have grounds to claim it is a mistaken report, which may be grounds for getting your case dismissed.
Have the Alleged Victim Sign an Affidavit of Non-Prosecution
Once you’ve been accused of domestic violence, the matter is now between you and the courts. The problem with this is when alleged victims lie or exaggerate to the police, they may want to make things right by having the criminal charges dismissed.
Unfortunately, the case is no longer up to them. Still, the alleged victim can help your case by signing an Affidavit of Non-Prosecution, a legal document expressing the alleged victim’s wishes to have the domestic violence charges dropped. This document can be significant in winning your case, but you will still require help from an experienced domestic violence attorney.
Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney
A criminal defense lawyer can help you by working directly with the prosecution to get your case dismissed. Your attorney will investigate and collect evidence in your case to disprove the allegations against you, file motions and subpoenas to protect your rights, and represent you in court, if necessary.
A criminal defense lawyer uses several legal defense strategies when disputing domestic violence charges. So, when you find yourself battling a charge, hiring an attorney is your best shot at success.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Near You
Our legal team at Martine Law has seen firsthand what a false accusation can do to a person’s life and criminal record. Don’t let that be you—contact our attorneys today to discuss the options available for your case. We pride ourselves on building a strong attorney-client relationship to help you through this difficult time.