For many people, most of what they know about the law they learned from television shows and movies. They call it the University of Law & Order, but unfortunately, these programs are accurate and they often perpetuate legal myths that can get people in trouble, even if they did nothing wrong. One such example is in Houston, Texas, domestic violence defense cases.
The myth of getting the spouse to drop charges
In movies and TV, there is a pervasive storyline of the DV victim that just keeps dropping charges because their husband or wife keeps begging them to drop the charges. Then, the prosecutor helplessly drops the charges. However, in reality, it is simply not how the Houston, Texas, justice system works.
Victims do not have the power to drop charges
Once domestic violence charges are filed against you, the only person who can drop those charges is the prosecutor, even if the alleged victim no longer wants to pursue those charges. Indeed, as a policy, most jurisdictions have a policy to never drop DV charges, even when the alleged victims ask. And, even if the alleged victim refuses to testify, prosecutors can subpoena and force them to testify.
Talking to the alleged victim can have consequences
Even worse than perpetuating the myth of victims dropping charges is the fact that talking with an alleged victim can have consequences for the person charged. You could be charged, independently of the original charge, with witness tampering or some other charge, even if you are acquitted or the original charge is dropped.
For our Houston, Texas, readers, the main takeaway is that you need to take these charges seriously. And, you need to not take anything that you hear seriously. Speak with your attorney and listen to them over anyone else.