Can Attorneys Get Domestic Violence Charges Dropped in Florida?

Understanding Domestic Violence Charges in Florida 

Domestic violence charges are taken very seriously in Florida, carrying significant legal and social consequences. If you find yourself facing such charges, one of the first questions you might have is whether these charges can be dropped. The answer is not straightforward and depends heavily on the circumstances surrounding the case, the evidence available, and the strategy employed by your criminal defense attorney.

This guide will explore the conditions under which domestic violence charges might be dropped in Florida, and how an experienced attorney can navigate this complex process.

Domestic violence in Florida encompasses any assault, battery, sexual assault, or other criminal offense resulting in the physical injury or death of one family member or household member by another. The state has stringent laws aimed at protecting the victims of domestic violence, and as a result, the process of dropping charges can be complicated.

Role of the Prosecutor

Unlike in some other legal scenarios, the decision to drop domestic violence charges is not in the hands of the alleged victim. Once the charges are filed, the case is typically in the hands of the prosecutor. In Florida, prosecutors may pursue a domestic violence case even if the victim does not wish to press charges. This policy helps protect victims who may be pressured to drop charges by their abusers.

Can These Charges Be Dropped?

Negotiating with the Prosecution

An attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor by presenting evidence that may affect the prosecutor’s case or by demonstrating mitigating circumstances. This negotiation might result in the charges being dropped or reduced if the attorney can show:

  • Insufficient Evidence: If the evidence is not strong enough to likely result in a conviction, the prosecutor might drop the charges.
  • Witness Issues: If the key witness (often the alleged victim) is unwilling or unable to testify and there are no other substantial pieces of evidence, the prosecutor might consider dropping the charges.
  • Rights Violations: If there were procedural errors, such as violating the rights of the accused during the arrest, an attorney might use these to challenge the admissibility of evidence or the validity of the charge itself.

Pre-Trial Diversion Programs

Florida offers pre-trial diversion programs for certain first-time offenders accused of domestic violence. These programs involve counseling and education as an alternative to prosecution. Successfully completing a diversion program can result in the charges being dismissed. However, eligibility depends on the specifics of the case and the discretion of the prosecutor.

Plea Bargains

When dropping charges is not an option, an attorney may negotiate a plea bargain where the charges might be reduced, or the penalties might be lessened. This is often contingent upon the severity of the alleged incident and the defendant’s criminal history.

Importance of Legal Representation

Given the complexities of domestic violence cases and the high stakes involved, having skilled legal representation is crucial. An experienced attorney can:

  • Evaluate the strength of the case against you and advise on the best course of action.
  • Interact with prosecutors, aiming to have charges dropped or reduced.
  • Gather and present evidence that supports your case.
  • Represent you in court, if necessary.

Contact Joel Berman Law Firm for Criminal Defense in St. Petersburg, Florida 

While having domestic violence charges dropped in Florida is challenging, it is not impossible. With the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney, you can explore all possible avenues for having charges dropped or mitigated.

At Joel Berman Law, we understand the serious implications of domestic violence charges and work tirelessly to protect our clients’ rights and achieve the most favorable outcome. If you are facing domestic violence charges, contact us today to discuss how we can help defend your case effectively.

Contact Joel Berman Law Firm for Criminal Defense against domestic violence in St. Petersburg Florida.