Summary of some top reasons these types of cases get dismissed after charges are filed
1. Accuser is Uncooperative with Prosecution
Often the reason domestic violence cases are dismissed is that the alleged victim stops cooperating with the prosecution of the case. Sometimes this means that the prosecutor cannot prove the case without their help. The person charged should abide by any no contact order with the alleged victim and not do anything to influence how the alleged victim participates in the case or what they say about the incident, because attempting to influence a witness is, itself, a crime. However, if the alleged victim declines on their own to submit to a witness interview or appear for trial, this can sometimes cause the prosecutor to dismiss the case.
2. Nothing to Corroborate the Accuser’s Account
It is very important for the lawyer representing the accused person to analyze what corroboration there is for the alleged victim's account of the incident that led to the charge(s). If the alleged victim reported that he or she was physically assaulted, the lawyer should look for pictures, medical records or other corroboration of the assault. It is also important to consider whether the recorded 911 call, which will be part of evidence, corroborates the alleged victim's account. Additionally, whether there is video of the incident, or whether there are witnesses other than the alleged victim who saw what he or she reported. The absence of any corroboration may lead a prosecutor to dismiss the charge(s).
3. The Accuser Has Their Own Attorney and/or a 5th Amendment Privilege
Sometimes an alleged victim seeks the advice of their own counsel because the incident was a mutual fight rather than an assault. Under such circumstances, the alleged victim may become unavailable to the prosecution as a witness because he or she has a right not to say anything that would establish their (the alleged victim's) criminal conduct.
4. The Accuser or Their Attorney Persuades the Prosecutor No Crime Occurred
Alleged victims who do not want to assist in the prosecution of the case, often benefit from having their own attorney. That person can help the alleged victim advocate for dismissal of the case and can also help explain why the police were called when no crime actually occurred. Sometimes the police were called even when no crime occurred because the initial accusation was fabricated and now the alleged victim is prepared to tell the truth that no crime occurred.
5. The Accuser Has Made Prior False Accusations
Sometimes the alleged victim has a history of making accusations that are not supported by evidence or that they later disavow. In some cases it can be established that the alleged victim is a false accuser and has a history of making false accusations and proving this can lead to a prosecutor dismissing a case.
6. Mistaken Report or Arrest
There are some cases where a third party thinks he or she has witnessed something that amounts to a domestic violence crime, but they are mistaken. There have been cases where the witness herself had a history as a domestic violence victim and when she saw a woman in a couple fall on a sidewalk, she believed the man in the couple pushed her, when actually it was just a fall. Third party witnesses can potentially carry a lot of weight because they do not know the couple and "have no reason to lie," but those witnesses can be mistaken or can see an event through the lens of their own experience.
Also, there are many cases where the person who committed the crime actually represents to police that they are the victim and the wrong person originally gets arrested. I have had many cases that are dismissed because the actual victim of domestic violence was the one prosecuted.
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