In a case like this, the DA decides how and whether the case is prosecuted. It is often possible to prosecute a case even if the crime victim is not interested in, or is actively opposed to, the prosecution. In the situation you describe the victim isn't saying that the crime didn't happen, or even that s/he feels that no consequences are warranted. Additionally, the fact that there are medical bills which require reimbursement tends to indicate that the incident was fairly violent. I think that you'll find that the DA is probably not going to dismiss the case in this situation.
A criminal case cannot really be "turned into" a civil case, as a civil case is a lawsuit filed by a plaintiff against a defendant. If the victim has not filed such a lawsuit, there won't be a civil case. The criminal matter can result in a restitution order, in which the defendant is responsible for the reimbursement of the victim's economic harm, which is often medical bills or the repair or replacement of damaged property. Unlike a civil suit, non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering or punitive judgments) are not recoverable in the vast majority of criminal matters.
With all of that said, the victim still has a voice in the process. Under the relatively recent "Marsy's Law", the victim has a right to be heard by the court on the issue of sentencing. If the victim stands up and argues that criminal punishment is not desired, it is possible that the judge (or DA) might deviate from their intended sentence to comport with the victim's wishes.
Any statements I make in these forums (fora?) should not be taken as direct legal advice, merely informed guidance. This is true due to the anonymous nature of this venue, and the incomplete information which is invariably provided by the questions. It is imperative that you consult directly with an attorney regarding your specific situation before acting on or relying on anything represented here. Period.
The case is in the hands of the DA.
Mr. Driessen is a former Deputy DA in Orange County with over 8 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Driessen, feel free to contact him at www.theocduiguy.com.
The District Attorney's Office will decide if the case is dropped. It does help that the alleged victim only wants medical bills paid and doesn't want additional penalties. A 245(a)(4) is a wobbler offense anyway.
Seth Weinstein, Esq.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Southern California
This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply.
It is very unlikely that a prosecutor will drop the charges since the prosecution considers this a very serious and violent charge. As previously mentioned, with Marsy's Law YOU have rights. One of those rights is that you cannot be forced to testify. If you refuse to testify there is a likelihood that the case may be dismissed or the charges reduced. A definite answer cannot be determined by this posting, so I suggest that you contact an attorney to determine what YOUR rights are.
I provide a free consultation, as do many respectable attorneys. I suggest that you meet with at least one soon to review your rights.
The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.
In criminal court, guilt preceeds restitution. If they want money without guilt, file a civil suit.
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