The Law Offices of Elaine E. Lukic
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Former domestic violence & sex assault prosecutor
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Accused of domestic violence? Get a Florida attorney on your side

You've been accused of domestic violence, and you know you didn't do anything wrong. You're justified in feeling scared. You could lose your job, your home and your kids – and you could wind up in jail.

So, what happens from here?

If you really didn't do anything wrong, prosecutors likely will drop the case. They have an obligation to seeing that justice is done. If they don't think the evidence they have could result in a conviction, or if they truly think you haven't committed a crime, they are required by their ethical obligation not to prosecute.

What would make a prosecutor decide not to pursue a case?

For starters, if the alleged victim changes their story about what happened, the prosecutor could decide there was no criminal activity and choose not to take action. Or, if the alleged victim decides not to testify and the prosecutor doesn't believe there is enough evidence to gain a conviction, the charges could be dropped. And, as a matter of fact, oftentimes jurors won't vote for a guilty verdict if the alleged victim testifies that they don't think the case should go to trial. That happens if victims testify under protest.

One thing to be aware of: The alleged victim doesn't decide whether charges are filed. Even if the alleged victim wants them dropped, it doesn't matter. Only a prosecutor can file or drop charges. Still, a victim who recants the accusation could change a prosecutor's mind about the charges.

Even if you know you aren't guilty, domestic violence is a serious accusation. Don't try to fight the charges alone. You need a Florida criminal defense attorney at your side.

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