Q: I failed UA with opiates in Daytona Beach Pretrial. I have my first UA Tuesday. I took lortabs (non-prescribed-my prescription ran out, cant afford the procedure yet) for a broken tooth today and yesterday and prior to my arrest (20mg total). I let the lady know this. I’m sure I’ll fail my UA. What happens if I do? It’s a DV battery case and vic wants charges dropped. In Daytona-Volusia Co. I am scared to death that in an attempt to ease my pain I’ve successfully ruined my and my 4 kids’s lives. I am complying with every other aspect of my PTR. Since I had a prescription I assumed it would be ok, but I threw away the empty bottle 2 wks ago and got my prescription from my dentist in May. What is going to happen? As kids dad gets deployed in 3 mos & he and I are all they have.
(As an aside, I hate PTR. It is onerous, adds complications to an already difficult and potentially explosive situation and I encourage my clients NOT to accept it, insisting instead on posting bond.)
Once you pass the PTR issue, which you will, then you will have to deal with your DV case.
Domestic Violence (DV) cases present wrinkles for everyone in the system (the Defendant, the State and the Court), as they almost always involve emotional charged folks who’s lives are either interdependent or interconnected, the potential for repeat or escalated violence is almost always high and there is more often then not the likelihood that a victim will, for whatever reasons, wish not to prosecute the perpetrator.
For these reasons, in FL DV cases Defendant’s suffer aggressive prosecution (more aggressive than many other offenses), the State feels obligated to “force” all victim’s to “help themselves” (which serves the dual purpose of covering its own ass in the event of a subsequent violent altercation) and the Court engages in pure self-protection (no Judge wants to read her/his name in the paper as being responsible for “cutting loose” the repeat DV offender who re-injures, more seriously injures or kills a victim when the Court could have acted to prevent the same from occurring).
These are the practical realities of DV cases that we all must live with and it is for these reasons that there is a mandatory 24 hold (a statutorily required cooling-off period) for anyone booked into a FL jail for any DV case and that DV victim’s are afforded special protections, are required to be evaluated (if only by responding officers who have a DV “checklist”) and are required to be provided information about alternatives to returning to “life” with the alleged perpetrator.
Fortunately, in many cases, and particularly those where the offense did not result in any serious injury and ultimately amounted to an unfortunate but otherwise understandable incident, there are a few ways to try to effect the State’s decision to prosecute. Although again, the best advise that you are going to get is to find yourself a local criminal defense attorney, make an appointment, show up on time and bring with you as much relevant paperwork or information as possible. That is your burden, but there is more that can be done toward accomplishing your objective (i.e. beating your case).
In Florida the State Attorney is empowered to bring criminal charges to bear on behalf of all of the people of the State, the victim being only one of those millions of people (albeit usually an important one to the success of their case). If your “victim” (personally I di not like the word “victim”, preferring “complaining witness”) does not wish to cooperate with the State then that person is entitled to have her/his wishes considered by the State.
In Florida victims of crimes have rights, both constitutional (s. 16, Art. I of the Florida’s State Constitution) and by statute. If you want to increase your odds at having the State pursue your interests then the complaining witness can hire her/his own criminal defense lawyer to serve as a Victim’s Right’s Advocate.
Again, no one can control what the State does on behalf of the people, but you will increase your odds at achieving a favorable outcome if you there is an effective victim’s rights advocate pursuing your agenda. Many criminal defense lawyers serve as effective victim’s rights advocates.
I hope that I have been helpful in answering your question.