Can the state press charges and put orders in effect against the "victim's" wishes?
Question Details: My wife and I had a fight but neither of us pressed charges. I was cited with domestic battery and her as well; there is a no contact order in effect. Is this legal? Neither of us requested it and now I can't even speak to my own wife. I have court for it.
Yes, the state can do this. Criminal charges are brought to enforce the laws, help maintain order in society, do justice, and punish wrongdoing; the state has a powerful interest in those things and can take steps to do them regardless of the victim's wishes. In a criminal case, the victim is not the "plaintiff" or in charge of the case; the victim is really just a witness to a crime.
Whether or not to prosecute a case (i.e. drop charges) is a decision that rests with the state and not with the victim. Accordingly, a case may be prosecuted over a victim's objection and without their cooperation so long as there is enough other evidence to support conviction. As for the no-contact order, the state had the right to request that one be put in place in order to protect you Although, you can move to have it vacated. At this point, you need to consult irectly with a local criminal law attorney who can best advise you further.