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How do I get charges for "assault on female" (non domestic) dropped in North Carolina prior to arraignment?

Raleigh, NC |

Incident involved a patron (me) and employee and the result of this accident was we both ended up in the ER after a fall. All witnesses stated on police report this was an accident but I was arrested. Decided to file same charges against this employee (they initiated contact resulting in the fall) and the magistrate got all the details from the officer and the police reports and said, "wow, I can't believe you got arrested, I would have never...this is clearly a civil and not criminal issue." This person told me to contact DA and or get a lawyer to deal with this right away

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Wake County prosecutors typically won't dismiss a case prior to the first court date, because they need an opportunity to speak with the officer and the alleged victim in court. However, there are certainly things that you and your attorney could do to prepare for the court date to give you the best possible chance of getting a quick dismissal. Your attorney can investigate the case, talk to the charging officer, talk to the alleged victim or other witnesses, and even speak with the prosecutor to put the case on his or her "radar" as a case that needs special consideration. Even though this may seem like an easy problem to fix, a prosecutor may just look at the name of the charge - "assault on a female" - and take an aggressive approach, without really knowing the true facts. You should contact a criminal-defense attorney here in Raleigh to discuss your options further.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your input. Is there ever a case where the DA looks at the report and or speaks to the parties involved and just decides there no case here? If so how could I find this out or would I be notified prior to the first court date?

Daniel Micah Blau

Daniel Micah Blau

Posted

The DAs do that all the time, but as a practical matter, it would never happen prior to the first court date. Each prosecutor can have up to 300 cases on their calendar each day, and the amount of time they can spend preparing each case is limited. The DA probably won't know anything about the case before coming to court and speaking with the police officer. The DA will not contact you prior to the court date, and I wouldn't recommend trying to contact the DA, because (1) they might not talk to you, and (2) anything you tell them, no matter how innocent it sounds, can be used against you later in court.

Posted

I would recommend that you contact a local criminal defense attorney who can speak to the District Attorney's office on your behalf, pretrial, to talk about the particular problems with the charge and potentially ask the DA to dismiss the charge before trial. If the DA will not dismiss the charge before your court date, you may be eligible for mediation if your county participates in it and your attorney can help line the case up in that direction. I do not recommend trying to speak to the DA on your own as typically they will not want to speak with you and will wait until the day of court to become acquainted with the facts of the case.

The information presented here, by Attorney Shannon Aldous, is not intended to be legal advice and does not create a lawyer-client relationship.

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Posted

Thank you both for your input. That scenario is what I was hoping for but since I do not live in the area I just don't have the connections to know who this lawyer may be. Me not having to take two days off would cover my lawyer fees and this would be a no brainer. Also if I could avoid dragging two witnesses who have extremely important jobs into this would be a bonus. If there is a lawyer who is friendly enough with the DA to present the facts pre-court date please feel free to contact me.

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