It is often believed that the victim is the one bringing charges against a defendant in cases that involve another party such as assault, vandalism and hit and run. It is further believed that if restitution has been paid to the victim, the charges will be dropped. This however, is not the case. The vitcim’s position will be considered but it will not determine whether or not the charges are dropped. The victim is not the one that brings charges against a defendant, it is the state of California.
The crime is brought by the state of California, because it is a violation of California law. When a defendant is charged, they are being charged for having violated a California statute independent of whether the victim has been compensated or not. The state will generally not drop the case because they do not want a crime to go unpunished. Courts have a predisposition to protect the victim and to set an example for others who commit a similar crime.
Although a victim who has been given restitution and does not wish to press charges may not result in defendant’s case to be dropped, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the charges or possibly drop them completely. An experienced California Defense attorney who knows the Prosecutor will be able to present a strong case that presents the defendant in the most favorable light. The attorney’s goal would be to get the prosecutor to accept a civil compromise in which the victim requests to drop the criminal prosecution since they have been fully compensated for any damages. With the civil compromise supported by letters from friends and family attesting to the defendant’s strong character, there will be a strong case in the defendant’s favor. Preparing the case and defense takes time and hard work, which will be no challenge for an attorney who has been doing similar cases for over thirty years.