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I am charged with domestic assault…

I am currently out on a strict bail resulting from a domestic assault charge…

I am now told by our children that my wife is very sorry that she involved the police and she wants to take all the domestic assault allegations back. I want to return to my house. Can my wife convince the police to drop the charges?

ANSWER:

This is probably one of the most common scenarios presented to a criminal lawyer in Ontario in a domestic assault case. The short answer is “No”. Your wife cannot simply withdraw her complaint. The reason is that this matter is not a civil one, i.e. you are not being sued by your wife. This case is criminal, which means that it is the state that prosecutes you, while your wife is merely a witness for the prosecution. The state represents the interests of the public, which may or may not coincide with the interests of a particular complainant.

That being said, in a case like that it would be very helpful to hire a lawyer. If your wife wishes to take her statement or a part of it back, there is a proper way for doing so. Make sure that you are not breaching your bail by communicating with your wife, and speak to a lawyer at your earliest opportunity.

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