Just like Miami-Dade County, misdemeanor domestic violence cases are handled in a separate division of the Broward County Court.
The misdemeanor DV prosecutors work alongside felony DV prosecutors and unfortunately treat misdemeanors with the same degree of seriousness as they do felonies.
Misdemeanor DV cases include battery, stalking, criminal mischief, assault, and violations of injunctions.
Whereas Pretrial Diversion is routinely offered to first-time offenders in Miami-Dade County, DV prosecutors in Broward rarely, if ever, offer diversion for misdemeanor domestic violence cases.
Broward County misdemeanor DV prosecutors put substantial resources into their cases. If witnesses live out of town, the State Attorney’s Office will oftentimes fly them in.
If the alleged victim does not want to proceed, the State Attorney’s Office will look for any legal method by which they can prosecute the case without the victim’s testimony.
Penalties in Broward County misdemeanor domestic violence cases are harsh. I have seen first-time offenders offered jail and convictions for what would otherwise be Pretrial Diversion in another county. For whatever reason, the Broward State Attorney’s Office has taken a no nonsense approach to these types of cases.
Every county in Florida is not the same when it comes to how criminal cases are handled. Yes, we as Floridians all live under the same set of laws. However, each county has a unique culture that translates to differing opinions on prosecution of crimes.
It’s hard to compare counties but as a Broward domestic violence lawyer I can tell you that Broward County is a notoriously tougher jurisdiction in which to defend the accused.
If you are arrested and charged with a misdemeanor domestic violence offense in Broward County, your case will be assigned to the one misdemeanor domestic violence division.
Remember - even if the alleged victim is not onboard with the prosecution, you can still be prosecuted.
Call Eric Matheny to discuss your Broward domestic violence case.