While past outcomes cannot guarantee future results, the last five Miami domestic violence cases handled by The Law Offices of Eric M. Matheny, P.A. were dismissed by the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office.
Each case presented its challenges. In one case, the court's exclusion of evidence favorable to the state resulted in the state being forced to dismiss the client's charges long before trial. In several others, the state persisted in moving forward with the prosecutions, trying desperately to get the clients to plead guilty. However, after standing up to the state and demanding a trial, the state ultimately caved and dismissed the charges.
Getting a domestic violence case dismissed isn't easy. Even if the victim does not want to press charges, the law allows the state to still pursue charges in many situations. The key is recognizing those situations and knowing how to combat the evidence. Without a victim and without independent evidence - such as photographs or a 911 recording - the state may be forced to drop the charges.
If you plead guilty to domestic violence charges, they cannot be sealed, even if a withhold of adjudication is imposed. It is crucial when charged with domestic violence, whether felony or misdemeanor, to do everything in your power to try and get the charges dropped.
Even if you are eligible for Pretrial Diversion or Pretrial Intervention, understand that in Miami-Dade County, the conditions for domestic violence offenders can often include up to 26 weeks of intensive batterers' intervention, as well as individual counseling and mental health examinations. These are time-consuming, costly, and in many instances, overkill.
Prosecutors in Miami-Dade County and Broward County are used to dealing with situations where victims are not onboard. This does not stop them. Don't think for a minute that your case is guaranteed to be dismissed because the alleged victim is refusing to cooperate. The State Attorney's Office may use their subpoena power to compel the appearance of a victim, and if that victim fails to appear, the State Attorney's Office may seek to have consequences imposed, such as contempt of court charges.
If you are facing misdemeanor or felony domestic violence charges in Miami or Broward, just the implication that you may have committed a violent act against a spouse, significant other, or family member, is enough to have a devestating effect on your life. I urge you to contact a Miami domestic violence lawyer or Broward domestic violence lawyer at once to discuss your options.