Many people incorrectly believe that a victim has the power to "press charges" against the abuser, or to later "drop the charges."
All crimes are offenses against the community, not just the individual victim. Criminal complaints are prosecuted on behalf of the State of Michigan, not the individual who called the police or the person who may have been personally harmed by the defendant's conduct. ONLY the Prosecuting Attorney can issue or dismiss charges. This is important because it takes the responsibility for prosecuting the abuser off the victim's shoulders and puts it on the Prosecuting Attorney's, where it legally belongs. It also means that the defendant cannot "pressure" the victim into dropping the charges.
Although the decision whether to prosecute or not is ultimately up to the Prosecuting Attorney, the victim's opinion is important and the Prosecuting Attorney will take those wishes into account when making decisions about the case. A variety of factors are taken into account when deciding whether to honor a complainant's request not to proceed with prosecution, including the nature and extent of the defendant's prior criminal history, the severity of the alleged crime, whether the defendant has other pending charges in the criminal justice system, and future danger to the community (including the current victim).
On Domestic Violence cases our office does require a Safety Plan to be completed with R.A.V.E. (Relief After Violent Encounter) before the victim is allowed to fill out a form to request charges be dropped. They must contact Melissa Campbell - R.A.V.E. at 616-527-3351, ext. 226 to schedule an appointment.