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Can my accuser drop domestic violence charges against me?

Most domestic violence arrests start with someone calling the police. The caller could be the alleged victim, someone else in the house, or a neighbor. Later, it might turn out to be a misunderstanding, or the alleged victim might change their story and decide not to cooperate with the authorities.

You might think that if the person who accused you of domestic violence doesn’t want to pursue charges against you, it would be the end of the matter. But that is not true, at least technically. Under Florida criminal law, once the police get a report of domestic abuse, the case is no longer in the complainant’s control. Only law enforcement gets to decide whether to pursue the charge against you.

What if the alleged victim isn’t cooperative?

Practically speaking, however, if the alleged victim won’t work with police and prosecutors or the authorities lose contact with the person, building a case against you can be almost impossible. Domestic violence cases often come down to the alleged victim’s word versus the defendant’s. Without the complainant’s testimony, there may be little to no other evidence to go on. This can motivate the prosecutor to reduce the charge or have it dismissed entirely.

Focus on your defense, not what the accuser does

Remember that asking the person not to cooperate with the police can backfire. The person could accuse you of making terroristic threats, which is another crime under Florida law. Instead, your best bet is to stay away from your accuser as much as possible and work with a defense attorney to develop a sound legal strategy.



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