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Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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Domestic Violence: Victims Can Refuse to Cooperate, but the Prosecution Calls the Shots

If the police are summoned to the scene of reported domestic violence, you can just about bet your last ten bucks that someone will be going to jail. In the case of wrestling legend Scott Hall, police arrested him Friday despite Hall’s insistence that he had never been violent with girlfriend Lisa Howell. Though Ms. Hall initially reported that Hall grabbed her by the throat and tried to pull her out of her car, she later claimed that there was no physical abuse. Which brings us to an often misunderstood issue of a victim’s ability to drop charges, refuse to press charges, refuse to cooperate, etc.

 

Once a domestic violence report is made, it matters not whether the victim, also known as the “complaining witness” decides to pursue charges or not. Once police are involved, the situation is no longer at the discretion of the victim. In Chicago, the prosecution decides whether to pursue or drop charges for domestic violence. Though the complaining witness may backpedal, which is often the case after deciding that they overreacted or because the parties have made nice and would like to continue without further issue on the matter, the prosecution is now calling the shots. The complaining witness may refuse to sign a complaint or attempt to make a written statement to make the charges go away, but it has little to no impact as to how the prosecution will proceed. If the prosecution so chooses, the case will move forward with or without the cooperation of the victim. And a complaining witness can be forced to testify.

 

Domestic violence cases are very sticky situations for numerous reasons, and the tentacles are far reaching, beginning with the arrest, and including protective orders, penalties imposed for the charges, as well as lifelong consequences after the fact. Andrew Weisberg is an experienced domestic violence attorney in Chicago who knows all too well how this system works and, as a former prosecutor, has a strong command of what the prosecutors are facing when making decisions with regard to the outcome of your domestic violence charge. Too many things can go dreadfully wrong in a domestic violence charge—put your case in the hands of a tried and true attorney with the experience to get the best outcome possible.

 

Domestic Violence Attorney Chicago – No matter how straightforward or complex your domestic violence charge, Andrew M. Weisberg is a domestic violence attorney in Chicago known for tough, aggressive defense. A former felony prosecutor, Attorney Weisberg has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and violent crimes to theft-related crimes and traffic violations. To contact Mr. Weisberg, visit https://www.chicagocriminallawyer.com/ or call his cell phone 24/7 at (773) 908-9811 or Text LAWYER to 25827 for prompt call back. The consultation is free.

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Law Offices of Andrew Weisberg