Urbandale, IA asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Illinois

Q: Victim didn't show up to trial court hearing for domestic battery case. Shouldn't case be dismissed?

Defendant was proven innocent in pretrial court hearing, and victim didn't show to trial court hearing. Defendant was on parole prior to arrest with 2 months remaining regarding a case from 3 years ago. He has already served 4 months for this domestic battery case. While serving these past 4 months, defendant was told by judge to have no contact with victim for first 72 hours prior to arrest. No contact was made. Then victim contacted defendants sister to get in contact with defendant in jail. Now the court is trying to charge him with violating a no contact order, saying there shouldn't have been any contact while in jail. He just found this out at this trial hearing today. If the victim didn't show to the hearing, why is he now being charged with this? And why was the case not dismissed due to victim not showing to hearing?

2 Lawyer Answers

Donald J Ramsell

  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Wheaton, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: Ordinarily (but not automatically) the failure of the complaining witness to appear at trial will prevent a trial from proceeding. A prosecutor can still go to trial but obtaining a guilty verdict is far more difficult.

Cheryl Powell and Nrupa Patel agree with this answer

Nrupa Patel

  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Decatur, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: what was the hearing exactly? It wasn't a trial so it probably doesn't make a difference whether or not victim showed up. I am assuming the defendant has his own attorney, and all these questions should be addressed to him or her.

Also, while it is an uphill battle for the prosecutor, a case can still proceed without the victim.

Cheryl Powell agrees with this answer

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