Can a Victim of Domestic Violence Drop Charges Against Me?
Every domestic battery case requires at least two people. The first is the person who gets arrested, also known as the “Defendant.” The other party is the victim. The victim in any criminal case has an important role in the prosecution, but the victim does not have the complete control that most people think. Most often I get asked when I consult with a potential client is whether they even need an attorney because the victim does not want to “press charges.” This is an important issue that needs to be discussed in every case, and with every client who is facing a charge for a domestic violence case.
Can a victim drop a charge of domestic battery? The short answer is “NO.” The State Attorney’s office makes the final decision as to whether to charge someone with domestic battery. The victim is consulted by the State Attorney’s Office and they are provided information from the victim’s advocate. Each local law enforcement agency, such as the State Attorney’s Office, Daytona Beach Police Department, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, and the DeLand Police Department, all have employees called Victim’s Advocates. The Victim’s Advocates are the liaison between the law enforcement agency and the victim. It is their job to contact the victim, keep the victim apprised of the status of the case, discuss the victim’s feelings about the case, and record any restitution (or out of pocket money they lost as a result of the crime). They provide that information to the assigned prosecutor who takes that information into consideration when they determine whether to charge you with a crime.
Hiring an attorney can be a daunting and expensive experience. Because of that, some people use the “wait and see” approach. This means that some people who have been arrested want to “wait and see” if they get charged before they hire an attorney. This may work out for some, but can devastating to others. There is a period of time between the day you are arrested and the day you are formally charged with a crime. At Thompson Law, P.A., Attorney Matt Thompson begins to defend your case immediately, even before you are charged. Remember, the police report is a document that is written to establish probable cause, and the police report does not tell your side of the story. The only way you can tell your side of the story is through an attorney who will take the time to learn your case, get to know you, and begin to work immediately to defend you.
In Volusia County, if a victim wants to drop charges, they are required to attend a class that is put on by the State Attorney’s Office to educate the victim on domestic violence and the damage it can cause. Even after taking the victim takes the class, the State can still proceed to charge you with domestic violence.
Begin to defend your case immediately. Do not wait around to see if you are charged. Contact Attorney Matt Thompson at Thompson Law, P.A., and schedule an appointment at his office in Daytona Beach, or DeLand. Attorney Thompson will begin your defense from the moment you sit down. Contact attorney Matt Thompson to schedule a free consultation to discuss your charge for domestic battery by calling (386) 463-4529, toll free at (877) 934-4529, or text him at (386) 337-2219.