When it comes to domestic violence accusations in Florida, a police officer may arrest someone if there is probable cause that domestic violence (e.g. assault, battery, strangulation, or any crime involving physical injury or death of a family/household member). Although law enforcement officials will separately evaluate mutual accusations, they are required to arrest the “primary aggressor.”
But the truth is that many domestic violence incidents result in both parties expressing regret over the entire ordeal. It is not uncommon for an alleged victim to ask the police or the prosecutor to drop the charges against the alleged aggressor.
However, the alleged victim isn’t the one who presses charges. Rather, it is the State of Florida. This means even if the alleged victim wishes to drop the case, the state prosecutors ultimately have the authority to either pursue the case or not.
Why Can’t an Alleged Victim Get a Domestic Violence Case Dropped?
The main reason why domestic violence victims have no power to drop the charges is because the courts recognize that abusers can easily influence their victims. For instance, some victims are emotionally tied to their abusers and are quick to defend abusive behavior, or even financially tied and are afraid of losing their main source of income.
On the other hand, an abuser may threaten or pressure the victim into getting their charges dropped. Due to these factors, the state does not want to burden alleged victims with this responsibility.
How to Convince the Prosecutor to Drop the Charges
If your loved one has been arrested for domestic violence in Broward County and you wish to get the charges dropped, one of the most important things to do is to reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney, who can help you file a non-prosecution affidavit or file a motion to modify the order of protection. In addition, hiring a lawyer early on can give him/her an opportunity to investigate the arrest, collect evidence, and negotiate with the prosecution in order to obtain the best possible outcome.