Baltimore, MD asked in Domestic Violence for Pennsylvania

Q: My boyfriend is going to trial for dv of me an my child if I dont show up what will happen with the case???

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1 Lawyer Answer
Roy L. Galloway III
Roy L. Galloway III
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Harrisburg, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: The short answer to this question is that there is no correct answer to this without you providing more details. I will, however, provide an answer under difference scenarious.

If you and your child are the only witnesses to the alleged abuse and you decide not to appear in court to testify against him, the prosecutor will have a difficult time proving that he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. However, the prosecutor may subpoena you to attend and testify and get a warrant for your arrest if you fail to appear. If that happens, you may be compelled to testify as to what happened.

Additionally, if the prosecutor has evidence independent of you and your child, then you boyfriend may still have a chance at being convicted in your absence. For example, if another person witnesses the abuse, that may be sufficient evidence for a conviction.

If your boyfriend gave a statement confessing to the crime, then he may still be convicted even in your absence.

In may instances, prosecutors make the decision to dismiss charges where they are dealing with a victim who is uncooperative. But, a victim's refusal to cooperate with the prosecution does not always mean that the defendant is off the hook.

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