USE OF VICTIM AFFIDAVITS IN DEFENSE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES IN MARTIN COUNTY, FLORIDA
The attorneys and staff at Van Riper and Nies Attorneys will never condone legitimate domestic violence against one’s partner. Except in instances of self-defense or defense of others, there is never an excuse for physically harming or threatening another person, particularly one’s significant other. In fact, Mr. Van Riper was once a fierce prosecutor who took great pride in achieving justice for victims of legitimate domestic abuse.
From a defense attorney’s perspective, a just result can often be reached in defending a client who has been accused of domestic violence because in many instances allegations of domestic violence are not credible and legitimate. What follows is a description of how Christian Van Riper, an experienced domestic violence criminal defense attorney in Stuart, FL, Palm City, FL, Jensen Beach, FL, Port St. Lucie, FL, and Ft. Pierce, FL, utilizes victim affidavits in cases involving domestic violence allegations where the victim is seeking a dismissal of the case and/or recanting or denying the allegations as documented by law enforcement.
VICTIM AFFIDAVITS IN THE DEFENSE OF DOMESTIC ABUSE CHARGES IN MARTIN COUNTY
Believe it or not, in many domestic violence cases, the first person who informs Mr. Van Riper of the untruthfulness of a particular allegation of domestic violence is the victim who is alleged to have reported the claim of domestic violence in the first place. In numerous instances where Mr. Van Riper has gone on to successfully represent a client charged with domestic battery or assault and obtained a positive result up to and including dismissal of the charges, it was the victim who made the initial contact with the Law Offices of Van Riper and Nies Attorneys and not the defendant. Very often the victim, in Martin County Domestic Violence cases, will call the office seeking representation for their significant other and claiming the version of events reported by police is not accurate. Victims will often voluntarily and willingly agree to work with Mr. Van Riper in the defense of their loved one’s case, and they will often claim that the allegations have been overstated or mischaracterized by police, and that it is their desire that the charge(s) be dismissed.
In some instances, the victim will indicate to Mr. Van Riper that the allegations stated in the police report are not in line with what he or she told police and that the Defendant did not commit the criminal acts alleged in the police report. In other instances, the victim will indicate that the police have only documented a one-sided version of events whereby the Defendant was the aggressor, and, in reality, the incident actually involved something called mutual combat, which is a defense to battery (domestic violence of domestic abuse) and a legal term of art that means both parties were being physical towards one another, and it, therefore, cannot be said that one party was the aggressor and the other the victim. In certain other instances, the victim will be unwilling to recant, deny, affirm or speak about the underlying allegations whatsoever, but will be insistent that he or she wants the charges dismissed. And finally, less commonly, a victim will confirm that the allegations stated by police in the arrest affidavit are in line with what he or she told police, but will insist that he or she wishes to recant the original claim because it is not the truth.
THE IMPORTANCE OF WORKING QUICKLY FOLLOWING AN ARREST FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
When Mr. Van Riper is retained for the criminal defense of domestic violence charges in Martin County, Florida and to work on a case that involves the above-described instances, the strategy that he will immediately seek to obtain and utilize an affidavit from the alleged victim. An affidavit, otherwise known as a victim affidavit in the context of a Martin County criminal case involving an alleged victim, is a sworn statement by the victim which contains sworn statements. In an effort to be thorough and to leave no question as to the authenticity of the affidavit, Mr. Van Riper will usually arrange for the affidavit to be notarized. Affidavits are oftentimes important to the defense of domestic abuse charges in Martin County.
Clients, potential clients, alleged victims, and other lay people who are affiliated with cases involving domestic violence allegations, often assume that, if a victim formally requests that such a case be dropped, then it will be dropped by the Court or the Clerk of Court. This is incorrect. In Florida, except in very rare instances, only the prosecutor has the authority to dismiss criminal charges. Oftentimes, the prosecutor is not willing to drop domestic violence cases even when the victim requests it. For this reason, specifically, the use of victim affidavits can often compel a prosecutor to dismiss a case that he or she otherwise would not because the existence of the affidavit locks in a victim’s voluntary statement right from the start and makes the case unprovable.
Our Martin County criminal defense lawyer, Christian Van Riper, a resident of Stuart for over 45 years, abides by certain ethical rules when utilizing victim affidavits. First, the victim’s participation and cooperation with Mr. Van Riper on behalf of the client must be completely voluntary. Mr. Van Riper will not make any attempt to badger, coerce, manipulate or unduly influence a victim into cooperating with the defense of a client when the victim is not inclined to do so on his or her own. Second, a victim affidavit is a sworn statement in which the individual is swearing under oath to the facts contained in the document. Mr. Van Riper will only utilize an affidavit that is the result of the victim’s own voluntary words and statements. Mr. Van Riper will not draft an affidavit setting forth a factual narrative that benefits the client but is not the product of the victim’s statements. The contents and factual assertions made in a victim affidavit must be the product of the victim’s own statements and not the product of a narrative created by the attorney.
Contact a Martin County Criminal Defense Lawyer for Free if Charged with Domestic Violence
Mr. Van Riper, a resident of Stuart, Florida, for over 45 years, believes strongly in the use of victim affidavits to document a victim’s version of events which is beneficial to the client. As a result of his use of victim affidavits, Mr. Van Riper has successfully defended many Martin County, Florida domestic violence cases, and, in many instances forced the charge(s) to be dismissed altogether. If you are charged with a criminal law violation involving allegations of domestic violence (domestic abuse), call Christian Van Riper at 772-283-8712 as soon as possible to set up a free consultation. Christian will work quickly in the defense of domestic violence charges in Martin County, Florida.
Mr. Van Riper vigorously defends clients charged with all criminal offenses, including, but not limited to, DUI, BUI (Boating under the Influence) drug charges, violations of probation, and domestic abuse, in Stuart, Hobe Sound, Palm City, Jensen Beach, Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce and throughout Martin and St. Lucie counties. He also represents those served with restraining orders (injunctions).