September 3, 2021 | Domestic Violence
Have you been arrested for domestic violence in Lexington, Kentucky? Being convicted of domestic violence can have a significant impact on your life. You need to protect yourself and your future by seeking representation from a qualified criminal defense attorney.
However, what if the person who accused you of domestic violence doesn’t want to press charges? You may think you don’t need an attorney in these circumstances.
Don’t make this mistake. You can still face legal consequences for domestic violence allegations even if your accuser doesn’t want to press charges.
A Domestic Violence Victim Won’t Press Charges: Now What?
Once law enforcement arrests and charges an alleged perpetrator of domestic violence, it’s entirely up to the prosecutor to decide whether to proceed with a case. They often prosecute the case even when an alleged victim doesn’t wish to press charges.
Prosecutors understand that victims of domestic violence often have close and complicated relationships with their abusers. They may feel that a conviction is necessary to protect an abuser’s victim and the public at large. They might also suspect that a victim won’t press charges because an alleged abuser has engaged in witness intimidation.
Additionally, a prosecutor’s job is to ensure those who break the law are penalized. Domestic violence is always against the law in Kentucky — even when a victim won’t press charges.
How Domestic Violence Charges Get Dropped in Kentucky
A victim’s refusal to press charges won’t necessarily stop a prosecutor from moving forward with a domestic violence case. However, it could impact how the case proceeds.
Sometimes prosecutors decide to drop charges if the victim becomes uncooperative. It may be harder to secure a conviction without their testimony and involvement. For instance, a prosecutor may believe it will be impossible to convict a defendant if their accuser doesn’t testify. If an accuser doesn’t testify, the prosecutor may decide to drop the case.
Prosecutors often have ways of navigating around an uncooperative witness. They could tell the jury that a victim isn’t testifying because they’re afraid.
There’s no way of knowing how a case will play out when an accuser refuses to press charges or testify. You can guard against the worst legal consequences by hiring an attorney.
Protective Orders in Kentucky: What to Do When Your Accuser Wants to Reconcile
In Kentucky, alleged victims of domestic violence and similar crimes can seek protection from their alleged abusers by requesting a protective order. A court will issue a protective order if an alleged victim can show evidence of abuse.
The terms of a protective order can prevent an abuser from seeing or even contacting their accuser. Violating such an order can result in significant legal penalties.
However, if your accuser has decided not to press charges, they may wish to see you or be in contact with you. Perhaps they’ve expressed a desire to reconcile.
This doesn’t invalidate the protective order. As long as it is in place, you can still be penalized for violating its terms — even if your accuser wants to see you.
It’s best to avoid contact with your accuser until your case is fully resolved. Whenever you’re facing domestic violence charges, hire an attorney and follow the advice they give you to stay out of additional trouble and avoid a conviction.