A: The District Attorney’s Office represents the People of the State of California, not the individual victim, and only the prosecutor can file or dismiss charges. Therefore, a victim does not have the power to “press charges” or to “drop charges” in a criminal case.
Only the prosecutor can file or dismiss charges. This is important because it takes the responsibility for prosecuting the abuser away from the victim and puts it on the prosecutor -- 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 prosecute is ultimately up to the prosecutor, the victim's opinion is important and the prosecutor will definitely take those wishes into account when making decisions regarding the case.