Do I have to testify if subpoenaed?

I am the victim of a domestic violence case. I am subpoena to testify against my ex-boyfriend on Tuesday September 26th. I don’t want to push these charges and I don’t want to testify. I was coerced and forced in the first place to even bring this to the police. I’m only 19 years old. My ex has a clean record and is currently held in Middleton Correctional facility.

Asked on September 22, 2017 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In a criminal case, only the prosecutor can drop the charges, not the victim. The fact is that if there is other evidence to support the charge so that there is a reasonable chance of obtaining a conviction, then the state will proceed with the case. Therefore, while the victim's cooperation would be helpful, it is not always necessary. Further, a subpeona is an order to appear in court. Failure to do so can lead to fines nand possibly even jailtime. Bottom line, you had better show up.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In a criminal case, only the prosecutor can drop the charges, not the victim. The fact is that if there is other evidence to support the charge so that there is a reasonable chance of obtaining a conviction, then the state will proceed with the case. Therefore, while the victim's cooperation would be helpful, it is not always necessary. Further, a subpeona is an order to appear in court. Failure to do so can lead to fines nand possibly even jailtime. Bottom line, you had better show up.


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