Affidavit of Non-Prosecution
Explaining Complications in San Antonio Criminal Defense
There is a common misconception that victims of criminal cases have the power or ability to drop criminal charges against persons accused of committing crimes against them. While this may be the case in a civil matter, criminal charges have a different procedure.
When Texans are accused of committing a crime, they are arrested for violating a law of the State of Texas, not necessarily for violating the rights of another person. This can be confusing, but the main point is the district or county attorney's office of each county is responsible for prosecuting individuals that are alleged to have committed crimes, and as such, the prosecutors have the ability to dismiss the charges, subject to approval by a judge.
Working to Drop Charges
Even if the victim in the case makes his or her wishes known that he or she wants the case dismissed, it's still up to the prosecutor. Because the accused is being prosecuted for violating a law against the state, the victim does not have a "seat at the table" so to speak, or a legal term called "standing," to really affect the outcome of the case other than testifying for or against the accused in court.
For example, if a husband is arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife, and the wife immediately tells the police and the prosecuting attorney that she believes that she made a mistake and she does not want to press charges, the police officer may still arrest the husband, hold him in jail until he makes bond, and the prosecutor can still prosecute the case to the full extent of the law. If the accused has prior domestic violence cases or a lengthy criminal history, the prosecutor may not obey the victim's wishes.
Working with a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney
In some cases, a skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to convince the prosecutor to dismiss charges if the victim does not want the case to proceed. Often, a meeting may be arranged between the prosecutor and the victim or, with the help of the accused's defense attorney, the victim may present an Affidavit of Non-Prosecution detailing the reasons he or she does not want the case to proceed.
Call (210) 201-7622 to speak with me about possibly using this affidavit to our advantage in your case.