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Can a Domestic Violence Victim Drop the Charges in Utah?

Just because spouses and family members love one another doesn’t mean that disagreements can occur. Sometimes an argument can escalate into a physical altercation that may result in law enforcement officials showing up to deescalate the situation and even make an arrest.

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However, many domestic violence disputes lead to instant regret from both sides. Furthermore, the alleged victim may even attempt to ask the police or the prosecutor to drop the charges.

Unfortunately, a victim does not have the power to drop domestic violence charges in Utah. The fact is that the victim isn’t the one who issued the charge after calling law enforcement officials when the alleged incident occurred. Rather, it is the state that issued the criminal charges.

The main reason why the state doesn’t give victims the authority to drop domestic violence charges is because of how complex and difficult these cases typically are. Since victims are often emotionally tied to their abusers, they may attempt to explain away aggressive and violent behavior and actions as soon as they realized their abusers will be criminally punished.

Additionally, many victims are financially bound with their abusers, so potentially losing their means of income may cause them to endure the abuse. On the other hand, an abuser may threaten the victim to drop the charges.

Yet, victims can make an impact in a domestic violence case because they will be required to testify in court against the abuser or appear in court for other matters. If the only evidence against the alleged abuser consists of broken furniture or strong words, instead of physical wounds, the prosecution may need to drop the charges. If the incident involved violence, the victim could explain how he/she instigated the matter or work with a lawyer from the defense to find a way to refute such evidence.

The best thing a victim should do get the charges dropped is to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney, who can advise him/her on what he/she should say and do to help the defendant avoid conviction and harsh penalties.

If you or a loved one has been accused of domestic violence in Salt Lake City, contact Lokken & Putnam, P.C. today at (801) 829-9783 to let our legal team protect your rights and future.