Domestic violence charges are among the most common violent charges brought against individuals in Texas. Domestic violence charges can result from a number of situations. Neighbors might call the police when they hear an altercation, unintentionally causing an arrest. Someone’s spouse or partner might call the cops during an argument and then later realize that their actions endangered the freedom and future of someone they loved.

If your spouse called the police during an argument but has since realized that the involvement of law enforcement was unnecessary, you might assume that their unwillingness to prosecute you will mean that Texas drops the charges against you. However, Texas has a no-drop rule when it comes to domestic violence charges that could very well mean you still have to go to court to defend yourself.

Victims of domestic abuse frequently recant

Those victimized by their spouses, co-parents and intimate partners often feel as though they cannot protect themselves through the legal system. They may be financially dependent on their abuser or share children with them and worry about what shared custody would mean for those kids.

Even in cases where police gather sufficient evidence to charge someone with domestic violence, the victims of their violence often recant their statements. Women, in particular, are likely to withdraw previous accusations against their partners.

Unfortunately, those same women can become victims of escalating violence that may eventually result in their deaths. To protect those unable to stand up for themselves, Texas’s no-drop rule obligates prosecutors to pursue charges if the police who responded to the domestic violence call gathered enough evidence to support those charges. A changing statement or request to drop charges from the victim will likely do little to change the mind of the prosecutors and police officers involved.

What does the no-drop rule mean for you?

If you are someone accused of or arrested for domestic violence, the no-drop rule means that only a thorough defense strategy and not a statement by the alleged victim will help protect you from those pending charges.

Instead of expecting to be able to avoid a conviction on your own with the help of your partner, you may need to talk about how to protect yourself with an actual criminal defense attorney.