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The person that called the police doesn't want to press charges

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Charlotte Criminal Defense Attorney and Winner of The Charlotte Observer’s 2013 Best Charlotte Lawyer Award Brad Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question: The person that called the police doesn't want to press charges, can I still be prosecuted?

Question: "The person that called the police doesn't want to press charges, can I still be prosecuted?”

Brad Smith:

In North Carolina the only person that has the ability to drop any sort of criminal charges is the state of North Carolina.

The parties in a criminal case are: The state of North Carolina versus the defendant (John Smith). So the only person that can drop any criminal charges is the state of North Carolina.

It’s not a civil case. For instance a domestic case where a husband or wife accuses their spouse of assaulting them. That person does not have the ability to “drop the charges”. They can’t call up the district attorney’s office and say I want to drop the charges and the case seamlessly goes away. That’s just not how it works.

The only person that can drop a criminal case is the district attorney’s office, is the state.