In many legal cases, the wish of the victim is to seek justice and restitution for an offense committed against him or her. However, there are situations in which the victim does not want to prosecute. According to Florida law, state criminal prosecutors can pursue a case even if the victim does not have the will to continue. This is easily understandable in cases of violence or sexual assault against children who have not reached an age at which they can fully comprehend the weight of the offense. However, adult victims who do not want the case to go forward do not have to give their permission for prosecutors to pursue it. A Criminal Defense Lawyer Miami has to offer may have to face cases in which the victim lacks the will to press charges, but the defendant nonetheless is charged.
Florida officials tend to pursue cases involving violent crime, even if the victim does not want to continue with the case. The victim will be asked his or her wishes by the prosecutor, but this may be viewed as a recommendation and nothing more. In some situations, the victim is not able to communicate their wishes. When the victim has been killed through manslaughter, for instance, he or she obviously can’t voice their opinion. Even if their surviving family members may be reluctant to prosecute, they are not likely to be asked how they feel about it until after charges are filed. Family members of a deceased victim are often consulted by the judge to weigh in on how long a sentence should be given. A criminal lawyer in Miami in many instances can persuade the prosecution to drop violent charges, but in certain circumstances, it would be little use to appeal to the victims themselves, since they sometimes are not given a say in the matter.
It isn’t just violent crimes and those involving death where prosecutors decide to take matters into their own hands regardless of the victim’s wishes. In some fraud or grand theft cases, prosecutors are determined to go ahead, regardless of the victim’s wishes. In these situations, the victim can refuse to cooperate, and this will make it more difficult for the prosecution to prove the case to the jury. Sometimes, prosecutors can find a way around a missing witness on trial day by relying on other pieces of evidence. If the fraud affected a large number of people or affected a community, the prosecutor may pursue it anyway, even if the victims prefer to settle the case or have it dropped.
In the state of Florida, victims don’t have the ability to have charges dismissed by signing requests not to prosecute. Even if these requests are delivered early on, it might not deter a fully committed prosecutor. Your Miami criminal defense lawyer may have to deal directly with the prosecutor when this happens. One advantage the victim’s disinclination to pursue the case might provide for the defendant is it can be used as a reason to drop the case if there are difficulties, but if a prosecutor sees a smooth path forward, it may go forward. In such cases, a Criminal Defense Lawyer Miami has to offer may be able to deal with the prosecutor and persuade him to reconsider.
We handle a variety of criminal law cases, so call us now if you have any questions, (305) 615-1285.
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