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Domestic Violence Criminal Defense

Domestic Violence FAQ’s: Part 1

Civil Litigation, Criminal Defense & Family LawThe best way to get any and all questions answered about your particular case is by speaking with a lawyer. There are always exceptions in every case, so your best bet is to contact us to ask about the details of your situation. Below are some general rules of thumb to which those exceptions in your case might apply.

If she/he doesn’t show up…they have to drop the Domestic Violence Charge, right?

Let me put this as simply as possible: NO! There are some states that require that any alleged victim be cooperative with the prosecution for the case to be filed or brought to trial. Florida is not one of those states. The State Attorney’s Office has the SOLE discretion on whether or not to prosecute a case.

Having said that, there might be some proof issues if the alleged victim does not appear at trial. This is where that whole “against the will”/”bodily harm” issue comes into play.

An example: The alleged victim is not present for trial after a jury has been selected. But, the prosecutor has an eye-witness who is going to say that the defendant hit the alleged victim and that the alleged victim sustained a bloody nose as a result. Is that enough to go to the jury? Even though the alleged victim isn’t there? ABSOLUTELY.

Now imagine: you didn’t hire an attorney under the impression that she’s not showing up and you know it. You brought the case all the way to trial. They had to drop it eventually, right? But they didn’t. And now there is a witness on the stand that said you did it. In front of 6 strangers. Wouldn’t it be great for an attorney to have your back against that witness?

We have a no contact order, but we live together… I don’t have to move out, do I?

Yes, yes you do. The no contact order is in place until the judge tells you, to your face, that it is not. If you haven’t heard the judge say that you may have “no violent contact,” you have to move out. If you don’t, you can be arrested for a violation of a pre-trial release condition and you can be held in jail (on NO BOND) until your case is resolved.

Generally, the only way to get the judge to give a “no violent contact” order (rather than a “no contact” order) is to file motions to modify the no contact order and have the alleged victim testify during the hearing on it. These can be done Pro-Se, but, how do you let the alleged victim know about this motion? Certainly not by contacting her directly or through a friend or family member (you cannot contact them through a third party). But, your attorney can call the alleged victim to communicate about a motion to modify the no contact order because your attorney has the right to discuss the case with any State’s witnesses.

But, until that happens, you better start couch surfing.

To learn more, contact our offices for a consultation:

(813) 228-0658