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West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Criminal Defense / The Role Of The Victim In Florida Domestic Violence Cases

The Role Of The Victim In Florida Domestic Violence Cases


If you have been charged with a domestic violence offense in Florida, you may think that having a discussion with your alleged victim may get them to “drop the charges.” The reality is that once charges have been issued in a domestic violence matter, the outcome is almost entirely out of the victim’s hands. While the victim’s wishes can carry significant weight in a prosecution, they do not have the power to unilaterally end a case, even if they want to.

Sometimes Victims Recant

Sometimes, situations can get out of hand, resulting in a call to police – but charges change everything. There are several reasons why, once a case gets to that point, a victim cannot simply get the charges dropped – most commonly, they may feel pressured to drop the charges out of fear of their alleged abuser. Other reasons may include a fear of not being believed, or a knowledge that they called law enforcement in the heat of the moment.

Regardless of the victim’s motivations, the state of Florida generally wants to prosecute alleged domestic abusers simply because the nature of the offense is so serious. As long as concrete evidence exists, the prosecution is likely to go forward, even if the victim decides not to comply with the prosecution. It can be difficult to mount a successful prosecution without the testimony of the victim, but most state’s attorneys will feel a duty to try.

Do Not Contact The Victim!

What all this means for you, if you have been charged with a domestic violence offense, is that under no circumstances should you attempt to contact your alleged victim. They will not be able to get the charges dropped, and in extreme circumstances, you may even be charged with witness tampering for attempting to get them to do so. Witness tampering is a third-degree felony even if you never physically harm anyone.

The best chance to get through a domestic violence case is to enlist a knowledgeable attorney, and to ensure that your rights are protected during the legal process. You have the right to your day in court, and with experienced legal help on your side, you can focus on mounting a defense instead of trying to affect the process itself.

Contact A West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Attorney

Being charged with a domestic violence offense can be a frightening time in anyone’s life – but if this has happened to you, it is crucial that you not attempt to influence the process and instead focus on protecting your own rights. A West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney from the firm of Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can shoulder some of the legal load. Contact our office today at (561) 721-0552 to speak to an attorney.



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