Dropping Charges in an Assault Case

As an Austin defense lawyer, I have the frequent opportunity to represent defendants accused of assault in Travis County. Although most of my clients have a variety of different questions about their case, there are several questions that are almost certain to come up. Probably the two most frequently asked questions that I receive in an assault case are: ”what if the victim doesn’t want to press charges?” and “can my spouse drop the charges?” To address these questions, I usually begin with a short explanation of who actually presses charges an assault case.

What If the Victim Doesn’t Want to Press Charges?

It is a common misconception in Texas that an alleged victim in an assault case can simply “drop” charges or that an assault case will get dismissed if the victim does not want to press charges.  Although an alleged victim in an assault case will almost certainly be contacted by a prosecutor, an alleged victim does not have the final say or the ability to dismiss the case.

In a criminal case, the parties are the State of Texas and the Defendant. It is the State or prosecuting attorney who decides to prosecute the accused. In domestic assault cases, many prosecutors take the position that if an alleged victim wants to drop or refuses to press charges, that they are protecting the accused for any one of a number of reasons. 

Assault cases alleging spousal abuse or domestic violence are especially concerning to police and prosecutors. Assault family violence cases are can be very emotional for all involved and will almost always contain allegations of bodily injury or past domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Defense in Austin, Texas

If you have been arrested for assault or assault causing bodily injury to a family member, you should seek legal counsel immediately. If your case occured in Austin or Travis County, please call Attorney Kevin Bennett to discuss your options. You can reach the Law Office of Kevin Bennett at (512) 476-4626. You may also contact us through email.