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Prosecution of Domestic Assault Cases

What Happens When the Victim Does Not Wish to Prosecute the Defendant in a Domestic Assault Case?

It is not uncommon for a victim in a domestic assault or third degree assault case to not want to prosecute the defendant. Frequently, a husband or wife is charged with domestic assault or third degree assault as a result of a fight or argument that went a little too far. Perhaps one spouse called the police and had the other spouse arrested. In many situations like this, the victim may not want to prosecute his or her spouse after reflecting on the situation. Unfortunately, the victim cannot typically get the charge dismissed after the arrest has been made. In most jurisdictions throughout Missouri, after you have been arrested and charged with domestic assault, you must proceed through the criminal justice system even if your spouse no longer wants you to be prosecuted.

Many Missouri prosecutor’s offices have adopted a no-drop policy on domestic assault cases. No-drop policies mean that even when a victim indicates his or her desire for the case to be dismissed, the prosecutor will not dismiss the criminal charges against the defendant. This policy is based on the prosecutor’s belief that victims are routinely intimidated to drop the case. Therefore, the prosecutor takes the decision out of the alleged victim’s hands. Despite the alleged victim’s unwillingness to cooperate or testify in the case, the prosecutors often have enough evidence to proceed in their attempt to convict the defendant. In this situation, prosecutors will often rely on witness statements, 911 audio tapes, statements made by the alleged victim to the police, and other hearsay evidence.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a domestic assault or third degree assault charge, it is vital that you immediately contact an experienced St. Louis domestic assault attorney to protect your rights and defend your freedom. The St. Louis criminal defense attorneys of Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. will aggressively fight to protect your interests. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.