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Can a Domestic Violence Case Proceed without Testimony from the Victim?

A common misconception about domestic violence cases is that if one of the parties (the alleged victim) is not "on board," or willing to testify in court against the accused, the case will go away.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office has adopted a "no drop" policy when it comes to domestic violence cases. That means, they will not simply drop, or dismiss, a case just because the alleged victim refuses to come to court and testify.

While the involvement of the alleged victim is important, it is not required. In fact, domestic violence prosecutors are specifically trained on how to prosecute alleged offenders without the involvement of an alleged victim or testifying eyewitness. 911 recordings, photographs, and the testimony of police officers may be enough for the State to successfully prosecute someone charged with domestic violence. And while their case may not be strong enough to put before a jury, the State will sure as heck try to get an accused person to plead guilty to the charge with offers of probation, or even a dismissal with the condition that the accused complete 26 weeks of anger management.
As a criminal defense attorney in Miami-Dade County, I have handled numerous domestic violence cases. These cases are sensitive and are treated that way by the State Attorney's Office. Even if you believe that the alleged victim (a spouse, significant other, or family member) will not cooperate with the prosecution, please remember that the State Attorney's Office may proceed anyway.
Domestic violence can include a number of crimes, as long as they involved people living together, or people with children in common. Domestic violence can occur among siblings just as it can among spouses. Domestic violence can also occur anywhere, not just in the home - provided the parties (accused and alleged victim) are either living together in a familial or familial-type relationship or have children together.
As a former prosecutor, I have unique insight into criminal cases in the State of Florida and have successfully defended many clients against domestic violence charges. If you or someone you know has been arrested for any domestic violence charge, contact me right away.