I am the victim. Can I drop the charges?

Many people incorrectly believe that a victim has the power to "press charges" or "drop the charges" against the defendant. While you may be the victim, all crimes are considered to be offenses against the State. Therefore, the Navajo County Attorney's Office prosecutes criminal complaints on behalf of the State of Arizona. Only the attorney prosecuting the case can decide to file or dismiss charges, although the victim's opinion is always considered in reaching a decision.

A variety of factors are taken into account when deciding whether to honor a victim's request not to proceed with prosecuting a case. These factors include, but are not limited to, the nature and extent of the defendant's criminal history, the severity of the alleged crime, whether the defendant has other pending charges in the criminal justice system, and the possible future danger to the community.

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1. I am the victim. Can I drop the charges?
2. Police have arrested the person believed to have committed the crime against me. What happens next?
3. What are my rights as a victim?
4. I am having trouble with the emotional impact of the crime. Where can I get counseling?
5. I need legal advice. Can I speak to an attorney?
6. Whom can I contact about getting orders of protection or injunctions of harassment?