In a vast majority of domestic battery cases, the victim wants to "drop" the charges. Exactly how this is done is critical to the outcome.
DO - Follow all orders of the Court regarding contact with the victim
Most Judges will order no contact with the victim after an arrest for Domestic Battery. In some rare cases, peaceful contact will be ordered or perhaps only third party contact for matters dealing with children the victim and the accused may have in common. Violating any order of the Court could subject you to new charges, having your bond revoked and will spoil any chance you may have had to get the charges dropped. This is critical.
DO - Remain silent!
Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone but your lawyer. Do not discuss the case on the phone from jail and do not discuss the case with family members or friends. As you know anything you say -ANYTHING- can and will be used against you.
DO - Provide your lawyer with contact information for the victim
The victim is a witness and your lawyer is entitled to speak to this critical witness about the case. Your lawyer is allowed to have contact with this individual either directly or with the assistance of an investigator and can explain the process. Victims of crime have a right to be heard under Florida law (see link below). Many victims who want to drop charges think the best course of action is fill out a form at the State Attorney's office to request that the charges be dropped. Most offices of the State Attorney in Florida have a unit called the Victim's Advocate (or something similar to that) and the victim who wants to "drop" charges will have to speak with an advocate before they can make the request. A victim who truly wants to have the charges dropped should understand the process fully before meeting with anyone from the State Attorney's office and your lawyer can explain how things work and ensure that the victim has a balanced view of the situation and not just information designed to help the prosecution.
DON'T ask the victim to drop charges or have someone ask on your behalf
Contacting the victim yourself or through a third party can violate the Court order of no contact and subject yourself to additional charges including a Violation of Pretrial Release or even Witness Tampering.
DON'T be impatient or have unrealistic expectations
The wheels of justice turn slowly. Having a pending criminal prosecution is traumatic for sure but it is better than having a criminal conviction. Remember that the prosecutor has many cases and it is better to have a good outcome instead of a quick outcome. Also, if you punched the victim in the face in front of three witnesses it is unlikely that you will be able to get your case dropped so don't have that expectation. However, there are many cases of Domestic Battery prosecuted because of a struggle over a cell phone or because of unintentional behavior, inadequate investigation by law enforcement or inaccurate or false information provided by biased witnesses. An experienced criminal defense attorney can assist in obtaining the best outcome based on the unique set of circumstances in your case.
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