Victim Wants Assault Charge Dropped

When a complaint is made to the police, the police begin their investigation. When it comes to an assault charge, usually the complaint will be made by way of a telephone call to police via 911. The police will then arrive to the location of the complaint. 

When it comes to assault charges, oftentimes they arise in domestic situations with one party alleging an assault by the other party. It may be that the complainant (alleged victim) tells the police her partner has assaulted her. Whether or not the complainant wishes to proceed with charges is often not something the police consider, unfortunately. It is a common misconception that complainants have that if they contact the police only for the purpose of “giving a warning” to their spouse, that the police will agree to their request. In fact, the police usually proceed straight to arresting the spouse, and then charging him once a domestic assault complaint is made.

In Calgary, the accused is taken to the Arrest Processing Unit in most circumstances, where he will spend up to 24 hours awaiting a bail hearing in front of a justice of the peace. Once release is spoken to, there will be a first court date. 

When a complainant did not want the assault charge laid in the first place, the complainant may ask the prosecutor’s office to ensure that the charge is dropped at the first court appearance. While one would think that the complainant’s wishes in that regard would be taken into consideration, unfortunately, often it is not. 

Complainant’s often think it is easy to have an assault charge dropped. It is also a common misconception that it is the complainant, not the police that lay the charges. In order for complainants to have their voice heard as to the outcome of the assault charge, they can communicate that desire both to police, and to the crown prosecutor’s office so that there is a record of it and so that it can be considered in resolving the accused’s matter.