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Case No. 08-CF-24845 - Our client, a young woman from Hillsborough County, was charged with Simple Battery. The allegation surfaced after the alleged victim filed a "sworn request for prosecution by complainant" alleging that our client hit her during an argument at a family gathering. After the complainant made the allegation, the State Attorney's Office in Tampa investigated the case and decided to "direct file" the charge of simply battery.
A direct file occurs when the police refused to make an arrest in the case, and instead suggest to the alleged victim that they should go to the courthouse to "file a complaint." The alleged victim then goes to the State Attorney's office to fill out a sworn complaint form. In that form the alleged victim is asked to state facts to establish that a crime occurred, and to state facts that the defendant committed the crime. The alleged victim also verifies that he or she desires prosecution of the case and request that the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office in Tampa review the matter for prosecution. The alleged victim must promise to be present for any required court dates should the case be prosecuted. The alleged victim is also asked to write a brief statement about what happened and list any additional witnesses to the alleged criminal offense, including their address and telephone number.
In many of these cases, the information provided to the Hillsborough County's State Attorney's Office is incomplete or just plain wrong. Many false allegations are made in these types of cases for the following reasons:
- The alleged victim that is initiating the prosecution (not a more objective police officer);
- The alleged victim rarely gives the prosecutor all of the information, including all of the witnesses to the incident and information about the alleged victim's motive or bias;
- The prosecutor only gets one side of the story because the person against whom the allegation is made does not have an opportunity to present their side of the story.
In this case we filed numerous motions and set the case for trial. The client did not waive her right to a speedy trial because she wanted the charges dropped as soon as possible. On the first court date after arraignment, the attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm set the case for a pre-trial conference and then jury trial. On the day of jury selection, July 13, 2009 at 8:00 a.m., in the County Criminal Court for Hillsborough County before the Honorable John Nicholas Conrad, the State Attorney's Office announced that they were dropping all charges against our client. The charges were dropped within 90 days of arraignment.
Information Upon Request Zone
If you have been charged with any misdemeanor or felony crime such as Simply Battery after a "direct file," contact the attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss how to fight the charges by calling 813-250-0500.
Read more about Simple Battery in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL