Domestic battery is perhaps the most serious misdemeanor crime in Florida and one that the State Attorney’s office takes very seriously in the Jacksonville, Florida area. However, many of them turn out to be weak cases for the State and cases where the true facts are far different from what is written in the police report.
The law office of Shorstein & Lasnetski, LLC handles a lot of domestic battery cases in Jacksonville, Florida and the surrounding areas. One question we get quite a bit is if the police and the State can proceed with domestic battery charges when the alleged victim decides she wants to drop the charges. The answer is that the State can charge a defendant with domestic battery and continue with the prosecution when the alleged victim wants to drop the charges. Once the police have been called and made an arrest, the police officer prepares a report and sends the file to the State Attorney’s Office. That file will contain the police report and may also contain pictures of injuries and/or witness statements. It is up to the prosecutor, not the alleged victim, whether or not official domestic battery charges will be brought.
However, when the alleged victim wants to drop domestic battery charges, that is still very relevant. When we handle domestic battery and other domestic violence cases, we always try and work with the alleged victim to learn the true facts surrounding what happened and determine if the alleged victim wants to drop the charges. When the alleged victim wants to drop the domestic battery charges, we can use that information and present it, along with other information, in a way that convinces the prosecutor to drop the charges or at least informs the prosecutor that the domestic battery case is not as serious as he/she may have thought from reading the police report and obtain a favorable result for our client.
So, the short answer to the common question is that the police and the State can pursue a domestic battery case even when the alleged victim wants to drop the charges. However, it is almost always helpful to a defendant in a domestic violence case when the alleged victim does want to drop the charges, which is often the case. In that scenario, we can use the alleged victim’s intention to drop the charges along with other beneficial information to achieve a good result for the accused in a domestic battery case.