Can Victims of Domestic Violence in Minnesota Drop the Charges?

Although spouses and family members love one another unconditionally, disagreements can still occur. Unfortunately, heated arguments can turn into a physical dispute that results in law enforcement intervention and instant regret.

Domestic violence is a serious criminal offense in Minnesota and all states throughout the country. Penalties can include jail or prison time, a permanent criminal record, as well as the loss of child custody and gun rights.

Due to the serious penalties associated with a conviction—and the heat of the moment—it is not uncommon for victims to ask if they can drop the charges against the alleged aggressor.

However, only state prosecutors have the authority to drop domestic violence charges.

The main reason is that victims are often emotionally and financially tied to their abusers, which is why they often try to disprove bad behavior when they realize their abusers face criminal penalties. In addition, abusers may threaten or pressure victims into dropping charges.

In conclusion, the state doesn’t want to burden alleged victims with this type of responsibility when making or dropping domestic violence charges.

However, if the alleged victim insists to have the entire case dismissed, the following are several options to help their cause:

  • Speak with the prosecution – Although this will most likely not get the job done, showing effort can go a long way. You can also fill out an “affidavit of non-prosecution” (ANP) and sign that you don’t want to the case prosecuted.
  • Provide a favorable testimony – If you have yet to make a statement regarding the charges, ensure you give information that shines the accused in a positive light. On the other hand, if you originally provided an unfavorable statement, making a statement that is inconsistent with your original statement can lead to a criminal charge such as falsifying a police report.
  • Hire a lawyer – If you are having trouble getting the case dropped, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you find all available legal options to get the most favorable outcome. Ensure that your lawyer isn’t defending the accused since this would be considered a conflict of interest.

If you have been charged with domestic violence in Minneapolis, contact Brockton D. Hunter P.A. today at (612) 979-1112 for a free case evaluation.