How Do I Drop a Family Violence Case in Tarrant County?
In our practice as criminal defense lawyers, we often get calls about Family Violence (Assault of a Family Member) cases. These cases typically result from an argument that got out of hand, wherein one party called the police to help diffuse the situation, not knowing that the police would take someone to jail. Many times there seems to be a bit of confusion regarding whether the “victim” of the alleged assault can “drop” the case after the other person is arrested and charged with Family Violence.
In Fort Worth, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office has a “No-Drop Policy” on Family Violence cases. The No Drop Policy basically means is that once the case is filed with the District Attorney’s office, it is NOT the alleged victim’s choice whether to drop the charges. It is entirely in the prosecutor’s discretion how to handle the case if the victim does not want to go forward.
Despite the No Drop Policy, there are things that an alleged victim can do to express his or her desire that the case not be prosecuted. This begins with the Alternatives Class offered through Safe Haven. Before the District Attorney’s office will allow an alleged victim to sign an Affidavit of Non-Prosecution, they require that the alleged victim attend this 4-hour class.
After the alleged victim attends the Alternatives Class at Safe Haven, he or she may then elect to speak with the victim coordinator at the District Attorney’s Office. In this interview, the alleged victim will be allowed to talk with the victim coordinator and tell them why they believe the case should not be prosecuted. This is also the time in which the alleged victim will sign the Affidavit of Non-Prosecution.
These steps can go a long way in achieving a favorable outcome on domestic violence cases. If you or a loved one needs help navigating these options, please call us today. We handle Family Violence cases on a daily basis and have a proven track record of good results. Some helpful numbers are contained below.
Alternatives Class at Safe Haven – (817) 536-5496
Tarrant County Victim Coordinator – (817) 884-3535
Barnett Howard & Williams PLLC
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