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My son was arrested for battery touch or strike. His arraignment is tomorrow. I do not want to press charges. What do I do?

Ocala, FL |

My son and I got into a scuffle and he pulled my hair and was screaming at me. My youngest son called 911 because he got scared. I told the cops everything was okay, but they arrested him because he touched me. I do not want to press charges.

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Attorney answers 6


Unfortunately, the State decides whether to press charges or not in Florida. If he is being arraigned tomorrow, that means that the State has filed charges. You should go to the arraignment and try to speak with the prosecutor. Tell him or her your position on the case.

If you can not talk with the prosecutor, write a letter to the State Attorneys Office explaining your position. Do not discuss the facts of the case in that letter.

Best of luck and stay safe.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Florida. To set up a free consultation, please call my office at 727-755-3476.


Although I am not familiar with the particulars applicable to your situation in FL, I was for nearly half of my professional career a prosecutor. I agree completely with Attorney Dyer's observation that the State is in control of the case and will make the final determination with respect to how it is handled. That the State is in control does not mean that there is no interest in what the victim of the crime wants. I assume at this point your son has counsel, whether privately retained or a public defender. If that's true you should communicate with his attorney. If he doesn't have counsel that should be a first priority. Good luck.


I would contact your son's attorney and let him or her know your position.


Unfortunately, once the State files charges, you are simply a witness. I would contact his attorney to let him know the situation, but generally once the State starts the process there is no stopping it. Good luck.

This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney advertising. Rather, it is offered solely for informational purposes. The facts of each case are different and unique, it is critical to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under attorney-client privilege, so that competent and quality advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions


I agree with the other attorneys. I would add only that the State Attorney's office in Ocala, from my experience dealing with them, may go forward on the charges with these facts, even if you don't want to, at least at first. If you want them to drop the charges you need to talk to your son's attorney and be clear in what you want to happen, be patient and persistent.
Please also check if there is a "no contact" order in place, where your son is not allowed to talk to you; these are often put in place by the judge at first appearance. If so, he's not allowed to communicate with you in any way. Do not make it harder for him by communicating with him. This includes talking, sending letters, texting, emailing, etc. You could inadvertantly cause him to violate the terms of his bond conditions. Talk to his attorney about this.
If he has any prior criminal history, especially violent crimes, the State Attorney is not likely to just drop the charges right away. But they may drop them eventually if you persist in not wanting to go forward.


Contact his attorney and tell them you are willing to sign a waiver of prosecution. Make sure it gets filed as reciprocal discovery in this case that way the judge is guaranteed to see it. Sometimes, in cases where there is no injury, a written waiver of prosecution is enough to seal the deal. I agree with the other responses that ultimately the decision to proceed is up to the State and they don't need to consider your imput at all. But, assuming you have an attorney that is able to explain the details to the State and provide the waivers of prosecution, there is a chance the case will get dropped. If this is the first time he has been in trouble, you can have his arrest expunged after the case is disposed of. Good luck!

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