San Antonio, TX asked in Criminal Law for Texas

Q: my girlfriend beat her minor daughter during an argument the younger one called the police and my girlfriend faces charg

my girlfriend faces charges for this, if the girl withdraws the charges they could dismiss the case? this is in San Antonio Texas

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3 Lawyer Answers

Matthew Valley

Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Your girlfriend needs to seek the advice of competent criminal defense counsel immediately. It is the State, not the alleged victim, who brings criminal charges against an individual; so the girl doesn’t really have a say on whether the Bexar County Attorney’s office will proceed or not. Furthermore, generally speaking, Bexar County is not going to dismiss a case just because an alleged victim decides (s)he doesn’t want the accused to face charges.

Joseph Hoelscher agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Paul Looney

Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Houston, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: A minor cannot withdraw these charges. If the daughter attempts to withdraw the charges illegal influence and coercion will be suspected, so your girlfriend my face additional and more severe charges. If the charges are unfounded then that can be proven by a proper investigation. Hire a good lawyer. Go to the courthouse and watch trials. Get the names of three lawyers who impress you in trial. Interview each one. Hire the one you can afford. Don't look for anything good to happen with respect to disposition of this case without hiring a good lawyer. That is just the nature of the beast. Good luck.

Joseph Hoelscher agrees with this answer

Joseph Hoelscher

Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: The Bexar County District Attorney's Office does NOT have to drop charges just because a victim changes her story or asks them to dismiss. In fact, when the victim is a child, they are unlikely to do so. Worse, some of our prosecutors are aggressive in pursuing individuals they believe are intimidating witnesses, whether it happened or not. They will want to know why she is asking for the charges to be dismissed.

If the child is recanting because the incident didn't occur, the State will generally be more likely to dismiss. However, if they believe the child is being coerced or intimidated, they can file new charges or, more likely, seek a bond increase for the defendant. In your question, you suggest that there are multiple child witnesses, which makes it even more unlikely that the Bexar County prosecutor will want to dismiss just because the victim doesn't want to move forward.

Really, this an issue to run by your girlfriend's attorney. Her lawyer needs to know if the witness has doubts or has changed her story. Another possibility is to hire a lawyer to represent the child or ask the court to appoint one. Whatever you do, do not pressure this child to change her story or refuse to testify because that could make everything much worse.

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