Can A Domestic Violence Charge in Florida Be Dropped?

How to Get A Domestic Violence Charge Dropped in Florida

Are you wondering how to get a domestic violence charge dropped in Florida? Then chances are that you’ve been arrested for inflicting personal injury on your family or household member.

Florida treats domestic violence cases as serious crimes and prescribes steep penalties for convicts. If you’re found guilty of this offense, your possible penalties include fines, incarceration, community service, mandatory counseling, and probation.  Furthermore, the punishments are more severe if a family or household member below age 16 witnessed the incident. Again, domestic violence convicts can never have their criminal records expunged or sealed.

It doesn’t end there. Being convicted of domestic violence can ruin your reputation and expose you to societal ridicule. As such, it’s understandable—and wise—that you’ll want to stop a trial from happening if you can help it.

So, can a domestic violence charge in Florida be dropped? If yes, what’s the procedure for dropping the charges? Let’s find out.

How Can I Get A Domestic Violence Charge Dropped in Florida?

Only The Prosecution Has The Authority to Drop A Domestic Violence Charge

Generally, people believe that a domestic violence charge will be dropped when the victim refuses to press charges. This is a misconception. The truth is that the moment a distraught victim reports domestic violence, it’s no longer in their hands. It becomes a case between the government and the alleged offender, and only the state can drop the charges.

Per Florida Statute 741.2901, state attorneys must apply the “pro-prosecution policy” for domestic violence cases. Furthermore, the law states that the prosecution’s discretion to pursue or drop a case should be above the victim’s objection.

However, this does not mean that the victim cannot significantly influence the prosecution’s decision to file a charge. Since the prosecution relies heavily on the victim’s testimony, they may find it difficult to follow through with the case. With insufficient proof to prosecute the matter, they may be forced to drop the charge.

So, even if it’s not a fool-proof method, victims can influence a domestic violence charge by filing a “Waiver of Prosecution.” Also referred to as a “Request Not To Prosecute,” this document expresses the victim’s wish to discontinue the case. The victim usually makes this decision when they . . .

  • Were intoxicated during the incident
  • Had a mutual confrontation
  • Attacked first and the defendant was only acting in self-defense
  • Mistook a trip and fall accident for abuse
  • Allowed their emotions to cloud their analysis of events
  • Have settled with the defendant.

Why Will A Prosecutor Want to Continue My Domestic Violence Charge in Florida?

A Prosecutor May Pursue Charges Despite The Victim’s Disapproval when They Have A Strong Case

As we’ve already established, a prosecutor’s domestic violence case significantly weakens when the victim is uncooperative. However, there are certain instances where their refusal to pursue the case is only a surmountable setback. For example, if the amount of available evidence from other sources sufficiently supports the charge, they may be inclined to pursue the case. These include witness statements, police reports, 911 calls, photographs, and hospital records.

The severity of the crime is another factor prosecutors may consider when choosing whether to continue a case. Also, they may decide to pursue a charge if they believe that the defendant is a threat to public safety. Furthermore, prosecutors who believe that the victim has been threatened to drop the case are more inclined to pursue justice.

Note that a victim may be subpoenaed to testify or present evidence despite their resistance.

What to Do Following A Florida Domestic Violence Charge

How to Handle A Domestic Violence Charge in Florida

You may think that urging the victim to discontinue the case may be the best course of action. However, you’re only worsening your situation by doing so. Defendants should avoid contacting the victim in any way, because they can be slammed with an additional charge of tampering with a victim. That’s especially true when there is a domestic violence injunction or “Stay Away Order.”

Instead, the best course of action is to hire an experienced domestic violence defense attorney.  Your lawyer can reach out to the victim on your behalf despite a “No Contact Order.” Furthermore, defense attorneys will investigate the facts of your case to uncover evidence in your favor. When push comes to shove, they can also speak with the prosecution and clarify facts or obtain a plea bargain deal.

Consult Our Experienced Legal Team at Taracks & Associates Immediately

We’re Experienced, Knowledgeable, And Formidable

Given the serious nature of domestic violence cases in Florida, you should never underestimate a domestic violence charge. Instead of leaving things to fate, you can significantly impact your case’s outcome by contacting our domestic violence defense lawyers.

At Taracks & Associates, we’ve successfully fought domestic violence charges like yours for over 30 years. In addition, we understand the prosecution’s tactics because we have a former prosecutor on our team. You can trust that when it comes to cases like yours, we know precisely what we’re doing.

Dial 813-281-2897 to book a free session with our experienced and aggressive defense attorneys today. We’d love to sit with you to discuss your options as soon as possible.

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