I had my ex-boyfriend was arrested for abuse over a year ago and I have now been subpoenaed to his trial, what happens if I don’t show up?

I have since accepted a position in a different state and have tried to move on with my life. I have been subpeonaed via email to show up for court but I live 574 miles away. I also cannot afford to buy a plane ticket and pay for transportation to the trial because my lease is up the day of the trial and my money is tied up in a deposit for my new place. I have called the DA and have left messages letting them know I cannot afford it but I do want to help bring this case to justice. Will they allow for a phone or video testimony or how does it work? Will they pay for my transportation to get there? Will I be arrested if I don’t show up because I cannot pay to get there?

Asked on July 21, 2015 under Criminal Law, California


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Since you are the main witness and victim of the offense, if you don't appear, then most likely the charges will be dropped.  If he is a bad person, then he doesn't need to get off of the charges.  There are options that the DA can invoke to help you-- but part of what they can do will depend on the resources available in their jurisdiction.

For example, some jurisdiction have victim impact funds to help pay for transportation.... some will upfront the costs, while others will only reimburse you.  More and more jurisdictions are offering video conferencing... but this will usually require the approval of the judge.  You really need to talk to the DA about these options.  If you aren't having luck reaching the prosecutor handling your case-- try others within the system.  This would include the detective or officer that handled your case, the victim impact person assigned to your case, or the supervisor for the prosecutor assigned to your case.  The DA may not like you going around them to get info... but you really need the information and support so that the charges can go forward.

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