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Can the police change their minds on not arresting someone, even after they tell you they will and if you want to press charges?

Fresno, CA |

I called the police due to my ex breaking a restraining order by sending me harassing text messages. They came out and read all the text messages and agreed that it was harassing and it didn't have to do with our children. Since its domestic violence restraining order he will be arrested. He also asked me if I wanted to press charges and I said yes. Found out the next day from my sister he was never arrested and he told her that he talked his way out of it and he was friends with the Deputy. I called the agency back and the Deputy told me he talked to my ex and my ex felt it had to do with our children. These were harassing text messages that had foul language in it and had nothing to do with our children, plus he text me after 11p.m. This was the 2nd incident that I had to call the police

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Police have discretion in determining whether they believe there exists probable cause that a crime has been committed. Obviously the cop didnt believe there was probable cause to arrest your ex at this point. Document all incidences and you're certainly free to call the police whenever you want. You should decide what your goal in all this is: full custody of your kids; a criminal conviction against
    your ex; an ongoing an escalating dispute involving law enforcement; your safety; and or "justice"? Depending on your goal(s) your strategy may be different. It may be best to attempt to avoid any and all contact with your ex (inside or outside court). Good luck

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  2. The answer to your question is yes, police certainly can change their mind. Whether you want to press charges (or do not) or have someone arrested is not binding upon a police officer. As prior counsel explained, police are entitled to use their discretion or judgment in deciding how to proceed. They may not found the situation as bad as you perceived it. They may have decided it was a "he said, she said" situation and therefore, a judge would not have been able to decide what to do. Without reading the restraining order you refer to, it is hard for me to find the police made a mistake. They certainly may have. You may want to speak with the DA's office if you believe the police are biased against you.

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