04 Oct What if the Alledged Victim Fails to Appear at Trial?
What Happens when the Alleged Victim Fails to Appear in a Domestic Battery case?
You’ve been through the terrible ordeal of being arrested and charged for domestic battery. Maybe it was a misunderstanding, or maybe you were the actual victim and the police arrested the wrong person in the incident. However it happened, you’ve been charged and now have to move through the criminal process. You may wonder what will happen if the alleged victim fails to appear or how the discovery process may work. This criminal blog will answer some of those questions.
First, if the prosecutor declines to dismiss the charges and insists on moving forward, there are many ways your criminal defense attorney may handle the case. Some cases are best handled by scheduling a deposition of the alleged victim. Sometimes, this is done to secure the witness testimony, and sometimes it’s done to find out if the alleged victim is still cooperating with the prosecution. If the witness fails to appear for the deposition more than once, their testimony may be excluded from trial, which can help to facilitate a dismissal.
However, not all attorneys like to schedule depositions. It can create some risk down the road by memorializing the witness testimony, which could be admitted at trial in some circumstances, if the witness does not appear at trial. You should discuss the pros and cons with your attorney.
Next, if you’ve gone through the discovery process with your attorney and the state has not dismissed, the next step may be a trial. But what if the witness does not want to testify and fails to appear for trial? What then?
If the witness fails to appear, the state may choose to dismiss or proceed to trial. If there are no other witnesses to the incident, they may be forced to dismiss the charges. However, if there are other witnesses they believe can testify, they may choose to go forward. This may seem confusing, but the prosecutor can go forward to trial even if the listed victim doesn’t want to and even if they do not appear at trial to testify. This is because in criminal cases, it’s the State that brings charges, not the victim.
The attorneys at Chambers Law Office have experience handling domestic battery charges in Marion County and throughout central Indiana. Our criminal defense lawyers know that every case is different and needs to be handled as such. We review the details of every case with our client, pour over discovery and question each fact in an effort to provide the best defense possible for our clients.
You can find more information on domestic battery charges here: https://www.defendindy.com/practice-areas/domestic-battery-offenses/.
If you have been accused of domestic battery, you need a dedicated attorney on your side. Call Chambers Law Office to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney today!