The attorneys and staff at Van Riper and Nies Attorneys, a Florida law firm with offices in Stuart, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach, 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, Florida criminal defense attorney, Christian 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 the defending a client who has been accused of domestic violence because in many instances allegations of domestic violence are simply not credible and legitimate. What follows is a description of how Christian Van Riper, an experienced Florida domestic violence criminal defense attorney 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. Call attorney Christian Van Riper for free to discuss Victim Affidavits in the Defense of Florida Domestic Abuse Allegations.
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 Offices of Van Riper and Nies Attorneys and not the defendant.
Very often the victim will call the office seeking representation for their significant other and claiming that the version of events reported by police is not accurate. Alleged 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 and a legal term of art that means both parties were being physical towards one another. In such a case, it 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 as 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 he or she told police a version of events that is not true.
When Mr. Van Riper is retained for representation of a domestic violence case that involves one or more of the above-described instances, the strategy that he will immediately seek to utilize involves obtaining an affidavit from the alleged victim in the defense of domestic violence charges. An affidavit, otherwise known as a victim affidavit in the context of a 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. Clients, potential client, 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, including Martin, St. Lucie and Palm Beach Counties, except in very rare instances, only the prosecutor has the authority to dismiss criminal charges. Oftentimes, the domestic violence prosecutor is not willing to drop domestic violence cases even when the victim requesting it. For this reason, it can be crucial to the defense of a client’s case to obtain an affidavit from a cooperating victim because the use of a victim affidavit can often force a prosecutor to dismiss a case that he or she otherwise would not have if there was not such affidavit. Basically, a victim affidavit locks in a victim’s voluntary statement right from the start and can often times make a case unprovable.
Mr. Van Riper 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 a client’s defense 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 create a narrative that benefits his client that is not based on the facts as stated by the victim. It is the job of the victim to inform Mr. Van Riper of the facts and circumstances.
Mr. Van Riper 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 countless 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, call Christian Van Riper as soon as possible to set up a free consultation.
Mr. Van Riper may be reached 24/7 at 772-283-8712 in Martin and St. Lucie Counties and and 561-948-5588 in Palm Beach County. Our Florida criminal defense law firm has offices in Stuart, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach, Florida. If you have been charged with domestic violence, contact our attorney, Christian Van Riper, immediately. He may be able to reduce the bond amount at bond reduction hearing.