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How To Get a Domestic Violence Case Dismissed?

Last updated on: March 26, 2024

By Lebedin Kofman LLP

According to the National Coalition for Domestic Violence, approximately 20 individuals are abused by a domestic partner every minute in the United States. Domestic violence has become a nationwide problem, leaving law enforcement to take all accusations of domestic violence very seriously. While this is very good for vulnerable victims, there are serious implications for innocent parties who have been wrongfully accused.

Many of these false accusations are in connection with divorce, family cases, or made in the heat of the moment. Unfortunately, this happens far more frequently than many people realize. But because these are serious criminal allegations and charges for domestic violence cannot be dropped easily, even when the accusations are false, the accused must still take them very seriously.

If you are facing charges of domestic violence, it is important to seek the legal advice of an experienced NYC domestic violence lawyer. Having a skilled attorney may be able to help you understand your rights and protect your freedom.

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Lebedin Kofman Case Outcome

E felony criminal contempt in the first-degree domestic violence case was dismissed in Kings County. Our client was charged with felony domestic violence in Brooklyn, Kings County alleged violations of an order of protection via blocked phone calls and threats. The charges included: 

PL 215.51 B3 Crim Contempt-1st:communicates

E Felony

PL 215.51 B4 Crim Contempt-1st:telephones

E Felony

PL 215.50 03 Crim Contempt-2nd:disobey Crt

PL 240.30 1A Agg Harassment 2 – Threat 

PL 240.30 1B Aggravated Harassment 2nd

PL 240.30 02 Agg Harass 2 -threat By Phone

PL 240.26 01 Harassment 2nd- Phy Contact

Lebedin Kofman vigorously defended these allegations for months, refusing to accept any plea on the case until securing a dismissal of all charges and a full dismissal of the case. 

domestic violence attorney in New York

In some domestic violence calls, the accuser, for whatever reason, has made a false accusation, often in the heat of the moment. Many of these false accusations are in connection with divorce or family cases. Unfortunately, this happens far more frequently than many people realize. But because these are serious criminal allegations, even when the accusations are false, the accused must still take them very seriously.

If you are facing charges of domestic violence, it is important to seek the legal advice of an experienced domestic violence lawyer. Having a skilled attorney may be able to help you understand your rights and protect your freedom.

The Accuser Can’t Just “Drop Charges”

Domestic violence charges are serious criminal charges. Because of the dangerous nature of domestic violence, the state has strengthened arrest procedures, and New York law enforcement officers are now required to make a mandatory arrest when they have probable cause to believe that violence has occurred. 

The state brings criminal charges, so once the arrest has been made and charges filed, only the state can dismiss them. Despite popular belief, the accuser cannot just “drop charges,” and everything will go away. This leaves the defendant to face these domestic violence charges, regardless of whether they are true or not. 

How Do Domestic Violence Cases End?

There is no guarantee for domestic violence cases to be resolved in a particular way. Everything depends upon the circumstance surrounding the case and other aggravating circumstances. It is important to keep in mind that domestic violence cases seldom end in a trial.

If this is the first time you are facing accusations of domestic violence, it is unlikely for you to be tried. It is even better if this is the first time you have come in contact with the legal system. Your criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you reach a plea deal with the prosecutor. 

In many cases, the easiest solution may be to plead guilty before the court in order for the matter to be settled. However, this is not always the best option. Even if the case may not be straightforward, the plea you made can be used later to deprive you of access to your kids and other opportunities – such as affordable housing. An experienced domestic violence defense lawyer can give you tailored legal advice. 

At Lebedin Kofman LLP, we take the defense of an individual accused of domestic violence seriously. Our team of top-rated criminal defense lawyers will work hard to protect your rights and your freedom. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

When Will the Prosecution Dismiss Domestic Violence Charges?

Although the state takes domestic violence charges very seriously, the courts do not want to waste time and money prosecuting false claims. There are instances when domestic violence charges may be dismissed before they get to trial.

  • A lack of clear evidence – The prosecution will gather evidence to prove their case in court. But if this evidence is not clear cut, does not confirm the victim’s story, or there is simply no evidence to prove the defendant’s guilt, the prosecution may decide to dismiss the charges.
  • A history of false accusations – If the state finds that the accuser has a history of making false domestic violence accusations, their case will likely not meet the burden of proof of the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and the case will be dismissed.
  • A lack of cooperation by the accuser – When the accuser recants their story or refuses to cooperate with the prosecution, it can mean several things. The accuser is a key witness for the prosecution, and when they no longer cooperate or follow the directions given them, the prosecution may be left to dismiss charges if they are unable to prove them without the accuser’s testimony.
  • The domestic violence call was a mistaken report by a third party – If third parties such as neighbors or friends make a domestic violence call, it may be proven that the call was a misunderstanding. 
  • Self-defense – If the evidence points to the fact that the accuser was actually the perpetrator of the violence, and the defendant was acting in self-defense, charges may be dismissed. 
  • Contrary witness testimony – If there are witnesses who have no allegiance to either the accuser or defendant who can submit a statement that there was no domestic violence incident or that the accuser was the aggressor, this may weigh heavily in the defendant’s favor. 
Reasons for Dismissing Domestic Violence Charges Description
Lack of Clear Evidence Weak or inconclusive evidence that does not support the victim’s story or prove the defendant’s guilt may lead to charge dismissal.
History of False Accusations If the accuser has a history of making false domestic violence claims, it may be challenging for the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, resulting in case dismissal.
Lack of Cooperation by the Accuser When the accuser recants their story or refuses to cooperate, the prosecution may struggle to build a case without their testimony, potentially leading to charge dismissal.
Mistaken Report by a Third Party If a third party’s domestic violence report is proven to be a misunderstanding, it can result in charge dismissal.
Self-Defense If evidence suggests the accuser was the aggressor, and the defendant acted in self-defense, charges may be dismissed.
Contrary Witness Testimony Witness statements from impartial parties indicating no domestic violence incident or identifying the accuser as the aggressor can be beneficial for the defendant and lead to charge dismissal.

The Difference Between a Case Dismissal and Dropped Charges

When someone gets in trouble with the law, they may hear the words “charges dropped” or “case dismissed.” While both are good news for the person being accused, these two situations often happen at different times during the legal process.

If charges are dropped, it means the authorities decided to not go through with the case. This can happen before or after the case has started. On the other hand, if a case is dismissed, it means it was thrown out after the charges were already filed.

Sometimes, no charges are filed at all, which is the best outcome for someone who has been arrested. It’s important to get a defense lawyer as soon as possible to help increase the chances of a positive outcome for the case.

Understanding these timelines may be able to help you get more favorable results. Speaking to an experienced criminal defense lawyer when facing domestic violence charges can help you understand the process.

If you are facing criminal domestic violence charges, a conviction will have a long-lasting impact on your life, reputation, and future. Even if accusations are false, it is critical to have an aggressive legal defense since these cases are prosecuted aggressively. An experienced New York criminal defense attorney will thoroughly investigate the incident and explore your legal options.  

Call the experienced criminal defense team at Lebedin Kofman LLC at (646) 663-4430 or contact us via our website contact form. You deserve a skilled legal defense when you are facing serious criminal charges. We will be there each step of the way to ensure that your rights are being represented and to advocate for your best possible legal outcome. 

Criminal Defense

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