Affidavit of Non-Prosecution in Domestic Violence Cases
The term “affidavit of non-prosecution” (sometimes referred to as a ANP) is a term-of-art in criminal defense. There is not really a “legal” designation for these documents. However, ANPs are widely used in domestic violence cases throughout Texas.
In general, an “affidavit”:
- Is in writing;
- States a fact or facts;
- Is signed by the person making the affidavit;
- Is sworn to before an officer authorized to administer oaths; and
- Is officially certified to by the officer under a seal of office.
Non-Prosecution – Domestic Violence
Non-Prosecution refers to the function or purpose of the affidavit. The fact or facts contained in the ANP usually express that the “victim” of a domestic violence charge wants the prosecutors to drop or dismiss the charges. The amount of detail varies greatly.
As a practice, we include in our affidavit of non-prosecution a very explicit request for charges to be dropped. Also, we include language making it clear the “victim” will not hold anything against the prosecutor or court if the charges are dropped. The affidavit should also include the statement that the “victim” is aware if the charges are dropped it is unlikely the charges will be re-filed if the “victim” changes her or his mind.
These are the bare bones of an affidavit of non-prosecution. However, we always go a step further. We provide room on blank lines for the “victim” to write a more complete statement. This provides an opportunity to correct anything that might have been misunderstood by police or even misstated during an emotional time (right after an argument).
Attempting to get an affidavit of non-prosecution signed by the victim should be one of the first things your domestic violence defense attorney does. Read more about dropping domestic violence charges.