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?
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.
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
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.