Can My Spouse Drop the Domestic Battery Charges Against Me?
DuPage County Lawyers for Issues of Domestic Violence
Once domestic battery charges have been filed against you, the victim or complaining witness does not have the power or the right to get the charges against you dropped. Criminal charges can only be filed by the State’s Attorney for the county where the incident occurred, and only the State’s Attorney can drop the charges.
Under Illinois law, domestic battery is usually a Class A misdemeanor, and a conviction carries maximum penalties of up to $2,500 in fines and up to 364 days in county jail. Court supervision is not an option in domestic battery cases, which means that finding of guilt will result in a conviction that can never be erased or expunged.
During your first court appearance for charges of domestic battery, the judge will lay out these terms to ensure that you fully understand them. It is not unusual for the person who originally filed the complaint—e.g. your spouse, your ex, or another family member—to hear the severity of the situation for the first time and then want to drop the charges against you. At this point, however, it is already too late.
The victim or any complaining witnesses are only part of a criminal prosecution. The rest of the case depends on evidence gathered by law enforcement and presented by prosecutors. In fact, your case will be entitled “People of the State of Illinois vs. You” rather than “your spouse vs. you” or "your ex-boyfriend vs. you.” This means that your case is being prosecuted on behalf of every resident of Illinois, not just the family member who originally accused you. Victims of domestic battery have rights, but the right to dismiss the charges against you is not one of them.
Call 630-665-7300 Today
If you are facing charges related to domestic violence, it is important to get qualified legal help right away. Contact MFKM Law by calling 630-665-7300 today. We serve clients throughout DuPage County, Kane County and surrounding areas.