Q: My daughter was grabbed by her hair knocked against the wall, hit with an open hand and a beer can thrown at her which
Left a bruise. Boy friend arrested he was charged with domestic battery.All in front of their 4 year old special needs child. She wants him to get help but can she drop charges in the state of Illinois and have the court order him to get help?
A: No, if the charges are dropped the court loses any control they have over him. While the case is pending the Judge could order that he seek treatment but once the case is over the Judge has no control over him.
Sorry to hear about what happened to your daughter. I am often asked whether the alleged victim of a crime can drop domestic battery charges. The technical legal answer is no. Any criminal case, including a domestic battery case is brought by the People of the State of Illinois. Therefore, only the government lawyer, also known as the prosecutor, has the authority to dismiss a case. However, as a former prosecutor myself, I would certainly take into account the wishes of the alleged crime victim. I practice primarily in Cook County. In my experience, in most domestic battery cases, where the victim wishes to drop the case the prosecutor will drop the case. Prosecutors generally don't want to compel a domestic violence victim to testify against their wishes. There are cases where the injury is serious or the offender has a violent criminal record and the prosecutor will push harder to move the case forward and may refuse to dismiss the case. However, in Cook County at least, where the victim wishes to drop the domestic battery case the prosecutor will usually go along.
You also suggested the idea of the Judge ordering counseling while dropping the charges. Strictly speaking, once the case is dismissed there is no way to enforce the alleged offender actually completing the counseling. I have had cases where my client's wife or girlfriend wants the client to have counseling and drop the case. What I have done as entered into an agreement with the prosecutor that we continue the case for 90 or so days while the client completes counseling. If he completes the counseling and brings proof to court, the case would be dismissed. What you are asking is reasonable and something can likely be worked out.
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