Virginia Beach, VA asked in Criminal Law and Family Law for Virginia

Q: Can a lawyer ask the plaintiff to drop the felony charge down

Is this intimidation of the plaintiff who does not have an attorney. The fathers lawyer took the mother aside (dad was arrested for strangulation of mother) and said she should drop the felony because it wouldn't be good for her sons father or her son in the long run.

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1 Lawyer Answer

John David Mayoras

Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Fredericksburg, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: Well, In Virginia technically a victim cannot drop or reduce a charge. They only person who can do that is the Commonwealth Attorney. Now a victim's input should matter to the Commonwealth Attorney, and they have to consult with the victim and include them in discussions regarding disposition of the case. But, ultimately it is the Prosecutor's decision. So in a criminal case, the victim is not the plaintiff, the crime is against the dignity of the Commonwealth. Now if you are talking about some sort of civil case, then I don't have an answer for you. There is nothing wrong with a defense attorney speaking with a victim in a criminal case as long as the victim wishes to speak to the attorney.

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