Gloucester, MA asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts

Q: In MA, will I have a warrant if I don’t go to a court date as a VICTIM/WITNESS to a A&B on a household member?

My girlfriend and I got in an argument in January 2022. I was drunk and being mean while she drove us home. She got tired of it, pulled over and unbuckled me and while she pulled the buckle around me to get me out of her car, she accidentally hit me. I got mad she was making me get out and walk and called the police saying she hit me. After an hour of thinking the whole situation over, I realized she didn’t do it intentionally.

I originally went back to court in march and explained everything to the DV witness advocate how it wasn’t deliberate and they said the case would most likely get thrown out. But the DA is pursuing this like a murder case.

Gf lawyer said if I just don’t show up, it gets dismissed. I got a summons to appear in court for a jury trial for the case. If I do not show up, will anything happen to me? It says on the bottom “failure to appear may result in a warrant being issued for your arrrest”.

1 Lawyer Answer
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Acton, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: The operative word in the caution is "may."

In practice, it is rare that a Court issues a warrant for a victim- it tends to discourage people from calling the police when they really need to. Generally speaking, all of us are required to advise you to follow the law. Your question as to consequences might matter what county and what court and what Judge. Usually if a victim doesnt show up, a case can get dismissed. Sometimes the DA will ask for a continuance of trial to try to force it. On a 2d no show the case would be dismissed by most judges. If you are served in hand with a Court Summons, some Judges get prickly about no-shows. In my experience most people in your position don't go and nothing happens.Good luck.

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