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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Dropping Charges in Bucks County Domestic Violence Cases

A person might be curious about dropping charges in Bucks County domestic violence actions. In a criminal domestic violence action, an accuser does not have the power under any circumstance to be the sole decider on whether a case is dismissed or not. That is, once a criminal charge comes into effect, the only party that can withdraw a charge is either the court upon the finding of not guilty or the prosecutor or district attorney’s office which is the authority that pressed charges in the first place. No individual party to a criminal complaint in any domestic violence order can move to have charges withdrawn unilaterally.

With the help of experienced criminal domestic violence lawyers by a person’s side, a withdraw can be negotiated with both parties as well as the district attorney’s office, should this occur and the district attorney will make the motion for withdrawal and often it is after certain conditions have been met.

Who is Able to Drop Charges?

In Bucks County as well as the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the only party that can drop charges in a domestic violence action is the party that charged the individual. That is the district attorney’s office is given the authority to charge individuals and it is solely at their discretion that charges be withdrawn prior to formal proceedings in a criminal court.

Requiring a Criminal Case

In any sort of matter, the criminal charges have been placed upon an individual. It is the sole authority of the district attorney’s office in whether to prosecute the matter or not. Even if charges in a civil matter have been withdrawn, whereas the parties have a say in that withdraw, that does not in and of itself affect the criminal side of the equation.

However, with an experienced criminal domestic violence lawyer by their side, conditions can be made at the end to possibly have the Commonwealth or district attorney’s office satisfied and later have the charges actually withdrawn against an individual. However, that is through negotiation with the district attorney’s office and often classes ordered, completed, and successfully done by an accused and any other conditions like drug and alcohol treatment and/or parenting classes that are thought to be imperative by the district attorney’s office.

If completed satisfactorily then that is a huge benefit when making a decision on whether to have charges formally withdrawn or to have charges reduced in a way that doesn’t affect any party’s life, liberty or future record. Dropping charges in Bucks County domestic violence actions can happen this way.

Limiting Contact with Accuser

It is always important for an accused as well as an accuser to limit their contact while open civil domestic violence proceedings take place. Often, there are conditions or orders already put in place by the courts so that the parties do not have any negative contact towards one another or in the case of children towards their children. However, should a violation occur, the court has the option to hold a contempt proceeding and have the matter transferred for a criminal contempt of court hearing as well as possibly new charges on either side coming forward which can raise the possibility of incarceration and/or thousands of dollars of fines and costs to either party violating those terms. For more on dropping charges in a domestic violence action, contact a professional attorney.