Many times, a couple or other family members in the New Orleans area will get in to a fight, and police may be called to the scene. When this happens, it is always possible that someone will wind up getting arrested or facing charges of domestic assault or another domestic violence charge.

Although there is a common impression out there that once an alleged victim makes a statement he or she can later go and get the charges “dropped,” such is not the case. After a police report gets filed, the decision to prosecute or not prosecute a case is solely within the discretion of police and prosecutors. The alleged victim does not have decision-making authority.

Furthermore, although an alleged victim always has the right to change his or her statement, that can come at great peril to that person since it may involve having to admit to lying to the police. Usually, police do gather as much evidence as possible before going to trial in the event an alleged victim does back out of his or her story. No matter what he or she ultimately says, the alleged victim is not permitted to ignore an order to come and testify in court.

Finally, someone accused of domestic assault should be very careful about trying to persuade an alleged victim to drop the matter, especially if there is a protective order in place.

While many domestic violence advocates would have the public believe that victims back out because they are scared, the reality is that many times, people want to change their statement in such cases because the original statement was wrong. Still, the best way to handle such issues is via a vigorous criminal defense overseen by an experienced Louisiana criminal defense attorney.