On of the most common misconceptions about
domestic violence cases is that without an alleged victim, the State Attorney's Office
will automatically drop the charges against the accused.
former Miami prosecutor
, I can tell you that such a statement is untrue, and can often lead accused
persons to make uninformed decisions on how to proceed with their cases.
Miami and Broward, for the most part, have adopted a "no drop"
policy, where prosecutors will not drop a case due to an alleged victim's
unwillingness to testify in court. The reason for this is that prosecutors
feel that the alleged victim may not be willing to testify out of fear
of the accused. Furthermore, current laws have actually made it easier
for prosecutors to present their domestic violence cases to the jury without
the testimony of the alleged victim.
I am a
criminal defense attorney who has handled a great deal of domestic violence cases in both Miami-Dade
and Broward. I can also tell you that knowledge of the law, more so than
the knowledge that the alleged victim is "not on board," is
a greater asset to the client than anything.
Prosecutors may be able to introduce 911 tapes, photographs, and the testimony
of the responding police officer in order to prove their case against
the accused. An attorney who has experience with domestic violence cases
may be able to exclude certain pieces of evidence.
That is often the key to beating these charges...not simply the "wait
and see" method many domestic violence attorneys employ, hoping to
get a dismissal if the alleged victim doesn't show up in court.
Domestic violence cases can consist of
such as battery and stalking, or felonies, such as
. Misdemeanor domestic violence charges can carry jail sentences from 60
days, up to 364 days. Felony domestic violence charges can carry anywhere
from 5 years in prison all the way up to life.
Look, most domestic violence cases are arguments that got out of hand.
Maybe someone called the police in a fit of anger, and a day or two later,
they simply want to forget what happened, or they realize how blown out
of proportion things may have gotten. Unfortunately, most domestic violence
prosecutors don't feel that way. They are tough, and they want to
see accused domestic batterers locked up. Don't rest on the fact that
the alleged victim is not on board. Get advice from someone who has practiced
before judges in Miami-Dade and Broward.
Call my office today
for a free telephone or in-person consultation.