Domestic Violence: Who Presses Charges?

The Truth about Getting Raleigh Domestic Violence Charges Dropped

Often in the heat of an argument, a husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend will call the police because they don’t know where else to go in order to calm a domestic situation. However, they usually don’t realize that the call will result in domestic abuse charges being filed by the State.

A Chain of Events

Calling the police, even if merely to calm the situation down, sets off a series of events that are no longer under the control of the two people in the relationship.

1. An arrest will be made
2. Someone – usually the male partner – will be held in custody until he sees a District Court judge, or up to 48 hours. If it’s a weekend, that means waiting in the Wake County Jail all weekend.
3. In most cases, a no contact order will be in place.
4. The accused person will probably not be able to return home
5. Family life and children will be affected

Dropping Charges is the State of North Carolina’s Decision—Not Your Spouse’s

Once the situation has calmed down, it’s common for the “victim” to want to drop the charges and try to get family life back to normal. But the decision is no longer in her (or his) hands. Assault on a female or Domestic Violence charges are filed by the State of North Carolina, and in nearly every case the District Attorney will refuse to drop the charges.

The reason domestic assault charges are brought by the State is to protect a battered spouse from being bullied into changing her or his story. The unfortunate result of this policy is that sometimes innocent people are arrested, jailed, and kept away from their families.

Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.