Can a Victim Drop Charges in North Carolina?
Wake County, North Carolina, Criminal Defense Lawyers of Kurtz & Blum, PLLC Discuss Who Decides Whether To Prosecute
The question is why you need a lawyer if you know that the prosecuting witness wants to drop the charges. In North Carolina, once a criminal charge has been filed, it is up to the State of North Carolina to decide whether to prosecute. That means that a prosecuting witness or victim no longer has the choice as to whether or not the State will continue to prosecute someone. In fact, in domestic violence cases, the Wake County District Attorney’s Office has a long standing “no drop” policy. So even if the victim wants to have the charges dropped the prosecutors won’t, end of story.
That does not mean that the state won’t necessarily take a victim’s request into consideration, but it does mean that you simply will not know what a prosecutor is going to do until the last minute. If you decide to rely upon a prosecuting witness’ statement that they don’t intend to prosecute, you also put yourself at risk that the witness might change their mind. They may decide that they want to go through with the prosecution. Either way, whether it is the victim that decides at the last minute that they wish to prosecute or if it’s a prosecutor who decides they will go forward with the prosecution no matter what the victim wants, the last thing you want is to be in the courtroom alone when that happens.
The risk of walking into a courtroom alone without counsel is a risk that you should not take. Hire us, hire someone else or if you can’t afford an attorney asked to have one appointed to represent you. Do not attempt to handle it yourself. If you find yourself in a situation where you are counting on a prosecuting witness persuading a prosecutor to drop the charges, before you make a serious miscalculation, call us, we can help.
Our criminal defense attorneys help people throughout Wake County, North Carolina. We frequently handle offenses arising out of the following cities: Morrisville, Wake Forest, Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, New Hope, Zebulon, Raleigh, Wendell, Knightdale, Holly Springs, Rolesville and Garner.