How can I withdraw a domestic assault complaint?
My boyfriend and I got into a fight and I broke his TV and he assaulted me. I filed a report a day later and he was arrested for domestic assault. If this goes to trial what's the timeframe for all this to be resolved? Can I as the only witness plead the fifth? I'd rather this all go away because we have a young son who will miss his dad for this time. What is the best way to get the charges dismissed altogether? Do I have the option to withdraw the complaint made to the police? He is an Iraq veteran who wasn't like this before deploying. Also, this is his first offense.
Once a complaint such as this is filed the authorities are obligated to investigate. As for withdrawing the charges, the decision whether or not to prosecute a case (i.e. whether or not to drop charges) rests with the prosecutor and not with the alleged victim. What that means, from a practical standpoint, is that a case may be prosecuted over your objection. While the states case would be stronger with your testimony, if there is other evidence to support the charge the case may still go forward. That being said, a skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to use the fact that you do not want to cooperate as leverage to obtain a favorable result for the defendant (i.e. to potentially have the charges dismissed or otherwise resolved favorably). However, prosecutors are often very unwilling to simply drop these types of cases, particularly, because they do not want to send the message to offenders that, if they can intimidate or otherwise unduly influence a victim, they can get away with what they have done. Note: If you are subpoenaed you must show up or you can be held in contempt of court and jailed. Bottom line, you will need to speak with an attorney as to all of this.