The no-drop policy is pertinent in domestic violence cases in Texas if a family member wants to get charges dismissed.
If you have been charged with an assault and the victim seeks to get the charges dropped, the prosecution will generally not allow this.
We occasionally see this scenario in domestic violence cases. A victim such as a wife may have gone to the police after a heated argument that she alleges resulted in violence. A day later, tempers will often have cooled. The victim realizes her husband could end up incarcerated and the family stands to lose income. Or the couple may have made up from the argument.
Either way, the no-drop policy, means the victim is not in control of the prosecution. In most cases when a victim says he or she does not want to press charges, the prosecutor will not allow them to be dropped.
The victim is not the party who initially charged the defendant in a domestic violence case. The prosecution is brought by the state. The decision as to whether the case will move forward rests entirely with the prosecutor.
Of course, the victim is a key witness in the case and his or her testimony could sway a jury in the defendant’s favor.
The witness may be forced to testify against his or her will. They can be served with a subpoena and forced to come to court to testify. The alleged victim can end up in trouble if he or she changes or waters down the initial statement.
If they refuse to testify they can be held for contempt of court and if they change their story from the original statement they can be charged with making a false statement to a police officer.
The no-drop stance reflects public policy considerations on domestic violence. Many jurisdictions in Texas and elsewhere have zero tolerance for domestic violence abuse. In many domestic abuse situations, the violence becomes worse.
The victims are not always in the best position to take an objective view. An abusive partner could pressurize a victim to recant their story and not press charges if they knew the decision to prosecute was the victim’s to make.
Texas has a wide definition of the relationships that can lead to a domestic violence charge. You can read more about this crime here.
If you have been charged with assault, please call our experienced Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers today.