The Hallandale Beach Police Department has announced that they are looking for a suspect in a violent domestic violence incident.
The police are alleging that the accused struck his ex-girlfriend's car with his car and then took the couple's child. This would be a domestic violence incident because the accused and the alleged female victim have a child in common.
Florida law defines domestic violence as violence between two people who are related by blood or marriage, or who reside together, or have resided together in the past, or have children in common.
Prosecutors treat domestic violence crimes much differently than they do ordinary crimes. This is because Florida has a strict "no-drop" policy when it comes to domestic violence crimes, meaning that even if the alleged victim does not want to press charges, the State Attorney's Office will pursue all means of prosecution, with or without the alleged victim.
The law actually enables prosecutors to go forward in domestic violence cases without a testifying victim if other evidentiary criteria can be met.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney representing clients charged with domestic violence offenses in Miami-Dade and Broward.