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RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I filed a charge against 2 people who went in my house

Customer Question

Hello, i filed a charge against 2 people who went in my house armed, the police have caught both men and i am currently requested to go in the attorney office for a witness subpoena. Currently i reside in gainesville, Fl. However, i am going to be moving soon to grad school. With this being said, the attorneys told me the case could take several month, especially if it goes to trial. I do not wish to go to court, instead i wish to no longer continue this case for certain family safety precautions as well as i do not want to take time out constantly of my schedule and be harassed through other sources about this any longer. Instead i wish to drop the charges filed against the convicts, in return i wish to get a restraining order so that they may not bring me harm or come near me after the charges may be dropped. Also is there any legal trouble or problems that might occur if i wish to drop the charges?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed Florida attorney and look forward to helping you.

Unfortunately, only the state attorney's office can file charges, and it is the state attorney's office that would have to decide whether or not to dismiss the case. You can certainly express your concerns and wishes to the assistant state attorney handling the case, but the decision is ultimately theirs. The state attorney's office could continue the case and issue a subpoena for you to appear and testify and if you don't show up, the court can (and likely will) issue a bench warrant for your arrest for contempt of court.

That said, many, many cases end up pleading out before they even go to trial -so it may be that you never have to come to court at all and the case pleads out.

If you need clarification about my answer or additional information, please use the SEND or REPLY button to continue our conversation. Your satisfaction is my goal and I am here to help!

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Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 11 months ago.

As far as the restraining order, given the nature of the crime, I would not be surprised of the ASA asked for, and/or the court ordered that should these individuals be released on bond, that they have no contact with you, which is exactly what the restraining order would do, and therefore you wouldn't have to take the time to necessarily go to court for that. Certainly something to discuss with the state attorney's office when you talk to them.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I read online that I can request a police report and have the charges dropped at the station and then I would later have to talk to the attorney and explain the situation. I personally believe the person will not take the plea and will drag things out into court, which in that case I fear for my life from going to court. Is there anyway I can write a testimony without having to appear in court if it comes to that point?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 11 months ago.

What you read is incorrect I'm afraid. A private citizen cannot press charges, despite how it always looks on television. Police can take reports but the decision whether to file charges (even after an arrest) is in the hands of the prosecutor. Therefore, the police could arrest someone one one charge, but the prosecutor can add or take away charges, increase a charge from a misdemeanor to felony or vice versa, etc. Once charges have been filed, absent the judge dismissing a case, the prosecutor makes the determination what direction to take the case. So that is why I said you'd need to discuss with the prosecutor your specific concerns and why you would rather the matter be dropped. I don't see them doing that, but you have nothing to lose by speaking with the state attorney handling the case.

Regrettably, written testimony is not an option. A defendant has the right to confront a witness against them so you must appear and answer questions from both the prosecution and defense.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
one last question. I know one of the two people that robbed me, I do not know them
On a personal level but I was somewhat aquitances and neighbors with them, they stole about $600 worth of stuff and cash. The sentence they are recieving is 30 years (which is why they will def. take it to trial), as well as I do not wish the foulness of imprisonment for that long upon anyone, especially over $600. As well as the fact that I know many people in town and out that know of him as a "friend", so the way certain people are talking to me and acting is not very comforting, this is why I truly wish to drop the case and just get a restraining order. I don't want to be caught in a trail case where the two stories from different sides given do not match up. Becaus I know of this guy and I know he will most likely play dirty on trial. Also the defendant can not bring any charges upon the victim correct?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 11 months ago.

If they are looking at 30 year sentences, then I would think these individuals must have prior criminal convictions, because there is no way they would be facing that kind of maximum sentence, or are you saying that's the plea offer from the state attorney, and so they're going to roll the dice at trial? Even so, if it is, a plea offer takes into account the nature of the crime and priors, so there must be a criminal history here.

I certainly understand your concerns and why you would prefer having a no contact order. If there was a way for you to simply drop this case, I'd absolutely tell you! But as I said, since that decision rests with the prosecutor, you need tell the assistant state attorney handling the case and stress all of this to them.

And no, there's no charge that a defendant could bring upon you the victim.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you so much for the advice. I will try contacting her tommorw before I have to go do my witness subpoena. And yes both convicts have a criminal history that's deep. This is the second time he was reported for home robbery. They haven't offered them a plea yet, because my girlfriend and I have to go to
The attorney office for testimony. Also
I have gotten threats from people on the convicts side, stating that I shouod just drop the case and move on other ridiculous threats I received such as having to take a polygraph test (which I absolutely have no problem with doing) but what are the odds that a judge can demand a polygraph test be done? Or is that just an unrealistic option?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 11 months ago.

That's unrealistic to expect a polygraph. They're not admissible in a criminal case because they're not reliable, so aren't used as evidence.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 11 months ago.

And the defendants' lawyers may wait on the "discovery" (evidence) that the state has before they negotiate a plea. Normally the state offers a plea first after they've had the opportunity to review evidence. What they're offering would certainly be less then the maximum a judge could give them if they lose at trial, but with 2 home invasions now? It's still a lot of prison time, no doubt.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Do you know if I will have to appear in trial every time after I give my testimony (in the case that the trial prolong itself or takes several month)?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Also what proof would they use besides our testimony, phone calls before he showed up to my house pretending to be "friendly" and the fingerprints they acquired from them?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for your reply. Sorry for the slight delay, as I stepped away to eat some dinner.

I would imagine you would only have to give testimony once. I don't know how many days it would take (I wouldn't think more then one) but I don't see you having to come back multiple times.

As far as proof, that's harder for me to answer because I don't have the evidence in front of me to look at, and I don't want to assume. There could be statements made by the defendants, other witnesses, or the police may have found stolen items in possession of the defendants, just to name some possible examples.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 11 months ago.

Was there anything I could clarify about my answer or additional information you needed?