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Charged with Domestic Violence in Los Angeles? Answers to Top Questions

As highly regarded Los Angeles domestic violence defense attorneys, we know how stressful it is for clients charged with this offense.  Will you be arrested if your partner/spouse asked police not to?  Can the alleged victim drop the charge against you if he/she changes his or her mind?  Those in a relationship often have arguments and disagreements – it’s just our nature as humans.  However, sometimes things escalate, particularly if alcohol or drugs are involved.  Regardless of whether it was an altercation involving alcohol or not, no doubt you have questions.

Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions by both the accused and the alleged victim in a domestic violence case:

Can an alleged victim decide to drop the charge?  No.  Frequently, those who call the police and allege domestic violence see things in a different light the next day and regret their actions.  You may decide you want to drop the charge or take back your accusations.  The thing is, now it’s in the hands of police and prosecutors – and if the prosecutor believes he/she has a solid case, charges will be filed.

When you request that police do not arrest your partner, husband, or wife, will they comply with your request?  No.  It is the job of police to arrest the accused individual if they are called out to a domestic disturbance and find any evidence at all that the accused laid a hand on the alleged victim.  Even in the event there are no visible injuries, bruises, etc., if one or the other admits to touching the other, it’s likely the accused is going to jail.  This is true even in the case of self-defense.

If you are the accused, is it recommended to instruct the alleged victim not to attend court?  This is NOT a good idea, and in fact could result in additional charges being filed against you.  There are cases in which you are not allowed to speak to the victim, such as when a “no contact” order is in place.  If no criminal protective or no contact order is in place and you are allowed to speak to the alleged victim, trying to persuade him or her not to testify against you is a crime.  Never, ever try to persuade the alleged victim not to show up at a court hearing.

Domestic violence is an extremely serious issue in California; while many cases are frivolous and can be attributed to jealousy, substance abuse, or attempting to get leverage in a child custody or divorce case, there are many cases that are really serious, ending with the victim being injured and often times frightened for his or her life.

Regardless of the situation, it is imperative you do not attempt to defend yourself.  Contact a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles at once so that work can begin to achieve the best possible outcome.