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Domestic Violence: It's Never A Private Matter

There is an allegation of domestic violence.  Police are called.  And somebody is taken to jail.  In Florida, this will happen nearly 100% of the time.  If a call is made to police, even if the alleged victim did not make the call (say the call is made by a neighbor or independent witness) - the police will almost always make an arrest.

A day or two may pass and an alleged victim may no longer wish to prosecute. This happens often.  But it is not up to the alleged victim whether charges are filed and the accused is formally prosecuted.

Once police become involved, it becomes a matter that involves the State of Florida.  Domestic violence is never a private matter.  When 911 is called, it is no longer a dispute between two people.  It is a dispute between the accused and the Government.

There is a common misconception that a victim has the unilateral ability to "drop charges."  That is not true.  While the unwillingness of an alleged victim to prosecute may be favorable to the accused, it is not the final determining factor in assessing whether a case can go forward.  Prosecutors will look to see if there is any independent way in which charges can be proven.

This may include a graphic 911 recording; photographs; statements the accused may have made to police or in the presence of third persons.  

The law is very favorable to the State with respect to going forward on a domestic violence case without the assistance of a testifying victim.  

If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence charges in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach, contact me to discuss this matter further. 

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