Stephen G. Cobb - Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

Do I Need a Lawyer If The Victim Wants To Drop Domestic Violence Charges?

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

Two thoughts on that question. First, there has been no conviction, so there is no victim in terms of the law. This will not stop prosecutors from referring to the complaining witness or complainant as the victim as often as they can. This is done to influence jurors and judges and steer their thinking and to favor the prosecutor’s case. Whenever I hear a prosecutor say, the victim, I promptly make an objection based upon everything from case law to the judicial ethics plaque that hangs outside or inside of just about every judge’s office in Florida. So the first thing is there is no victim until there has been an adjudication or a conviction as many people think of it.

The second thing is a lot of people want to rely on what is euphemistically called the “she won’t show” defense and the reality is, we had a case from south Florida where someone did not show and was promptly put in jail on the spot by a judge for failing to appear for 6 months while her infant child in the back of a courtroom was being held by a stranger who had to wait there until the Department of Children and Family Services could come swoop the intern up and take the intern to foster care. So when handling something as serious as a domestic violence charge or even a simple battery charge or especially if it’s an aggravated assault or aggravated battery, something of this nature, domestic violence by strangulation, instead of relying on a belief system where ignorance is bliss and there is nothing to worry about, the reality is that ignorance is very painful in the minefield of Florida criminal law.

The appropriate thing to do is to get the best criminal defense attorney possible, the top criminal defense lawyer in your area if you can possibly get them to take your case and then from there if you have a complaining witness who does not want to prosecute, there are specific concrete steps that I’ve used over a long period of time that have a very high degree of effectiveness. At the same time you can think of it as multiple paths. Let’s say you have 100 different paths to get through the forest and about 95 of them will have you fall into a trap. What’s real important is to remember an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the best you can find, the top criminal defense lawyer you can possibly locate. They will know the 5 ways to get through the forest without falling into any of the traps.

Just because a complaining witness does not want to prosecute it’s important to remember, they do not get to make that decision, only the prosecutor does and it is by presenting that lack of desire to prosecute by presenting it in the proper way that a dismissal shall occur with the least amount of risk to the defendant in a case such as this.

How Do I Hire The Best Lawyer Or Attorney When All Online Reviews Look The Same?

This is a serious problem and I’ve had to combat fake reviews. We had fake news as an issue before and after the 2016 election but long before the election, businesses of all kinds were confronted by fake reviews. Fake reviews could come from a variety of sources. It could be someone who is friendly to the lawyer or business and trying to help them out or it could be someone who is angry at a particular business or angry at a particular lawyer and wants to hurt them. Let me assure you, after winning a sexual battery case, there are a lot of people on losing sides who are very unhappy with the criminal defense lawyer. We usually don’t know where these fake reviews are coming from.

The best way for someone to get the most effective reviews is to actually use the Florida Bar website. The Florida Bar website is This website will list all of the lawyers in a particular area of the law who are certified by the bar as specialists or experts in one of 28 different areas of law. Within criminal law, there are two areas of specialization, a board certified specialist in criminal trial law or a board certified specialist in criminal appellate law. The reason you can rely upon the Florida Bar for the best reviews possible is because the system cannot be rigged, it cannot be jimmied, it cannot be faked.

When someone goes through the certification process in criminal law, they have to have serious and complex case jury trial experience. I personally know of lawyers who bill themselves as a particular sub-niche of criminal law and handles, say DUI only or domestic violence only, yet they have never had a jury trial. I find this amazing but in an era of social media and online reviews, this really isn’t that shocking. It’s easy to play the system. With board certification, playing the system is entirely impossible because there is a trial requirement in specialties such as criminal trial law such as mine. There is also a requirement that you are reviewed not just by people who like you and whose name should be at the bar but lawyers you’ve actually fought against and who may not like you very much and by judges you have practiced with before who may not like you very much.

All these reviews are factored in by the Florida Bar board of legal education and specialization so that by the time you find someone who is a board certified specialist in criminal law, you have two things. One you have 300 lawyers to pick from statewide so you have a lot of choice and secondly you know that the process, the reviews have not been gained because they are impossible to gain. It’s very easy to create a fictitious name, a fictitious Gmail account and then make a positive or negative review on any one of the review sites regarding a lawyer or a business. When it comes to accurate reviews that cannot be gained, the Florida Bar is the place to look so that you can find out who the best lawyers are. In Florida the top attorneys are the ones who are board certified specialists.

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

For more information on Dropping Domestic Violence Charges, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (850) 423-0035 today.

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About the Author

Attorney Stephen G. Cobb provides personalized representation for Criminal Defense Cases in FL.