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In Fl. can charges be dropped by the prosecutor if the victim doesn't press charges?

Clearwater, FL |

Never even had a parking ticket, now am charged with misdemeanor domestic battery(1). Injury was two small superficacal scratches on upper left shoulder trying to take car keys away from 28 year old daughter. And I'm the one who called police. Police report says it was intentional , which it was not. We also have court permission to see each other, we live together. Daughter tryed to tell police we both were under alot of stress do to the fact my husband died 2 weeks before. Police arrest me anyway. Daughter also told prosecuter she would NOT press charges..

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Attorney answers 6


Only the prosecutor can make the decision to press charges. The victim complains to the police, may recant, but it is the prosecutor alone who decides on the basis of all the evidence to press or drop charges.


GENERALLY, the Office of the State Attorney has the sole discretion to proceed or abandon charges. However, by law, victims have rights and are almost generally consulted about the disposition of the case. Since you have a no contact order, it is impossible for you to contact her.

However, if she does end up speaking with a prosecutor (or more likely a victim's advocate) and explains the situation, the stress both of you were under, that will probably make the prosecutor think strongly about not proceeding forward. From what you have described, this does not have a lot of jury appeal for the prosecution.

BUT, remember, No Contact means no contact, even through 3rd parties.

However, I cannot give legal advice over the internet nor can I establish an attorney client relationship with you. You should not assume or otherwise conclude that there is an attorney -client relationship between any reader and this writer or his firm. These comments are only guideposts. They are not subject to any privilege protections. Indeed, these internet communications are neither privileged nor confidential. Accordingly, those using this form of communication need to be guarded in what they write. Because of the nature of these communications the information is general only and should not be relied upon in any specific case.

This internet site is public forum, where the communications are not confidential or privileged.

There are some matters that are just better handled by an attorney familiar with the procedures of the courts and how to present legal arguments to a judge. Most legal matters should not be handled via internet communication. At best the responders can give you a few hints and guidance. To deal with a legal problem nothing is better than a sit down with a lawyer who will give you some time. If you cannot afford an attorney, there should be agencies in your area that can provide discounted or even free legal services. You may also contact the Florida Bar, (850) 561-5600.


As the alleged victim, your daughter needs to speak to the prosecutor, or the victim-witness advocate at the Court to tell them what she wishes to do in regards to the case. She cannot herself drop the charges, although her informed decision to ask that the charges be dropped will likely be honored by the prosecutor, and approved by the Court. Good luck.

This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship or constitute legal advice. Instead, given the nature of this website, it is provided solely for informational purposes, for you to use as a starting point when speaking directly with a lawyer in your State. Do not assume that the legal theories I mention that pertain to NJ will apply in your State. The laws of each State; and, the facts of each case are different, and it is therefore critical for you to consult with a lawyer admitted to practice law in your State before making any decisions on how to handle or dispose of your case.


The ultimate decision to move forward on charges rests with the prosecutor. Unfortunately, even if the "victim" wants the charges to be dropped, the State may decide to proceed. You should contact an attorney to consult in person in a confidential setting to learn about your options.


It is unlikely the State will pick up the charges if your daughter calls and sets the record straight. Regardless, I would advise hiring an attorney, because even if she sets the record straight, the State may try to force you into a diversion program "just in case."


I agree with most of the other attorneys. You'll want to hire a local attorney to get your side of the story out to the State Attorney's Office so they can make the correct filing decision. Ultimately, it will be up to the State to decide, but they will consider what your daughter would like to see happen.

My office handles lots of Domestic Battery cases in Pinellas County and throughout the Tampa Bay area. If we can be of any assistance to you and/or answer any specific questions that you may have, please do not hesitate to contact us.

My best,

Aaron J. Slavin, Esq.