Can the court make a grandmother testify againsta grandchild who isaccussed of assaulting her?

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Can the court make a grandmother testify againsta grandchild who isaccussed of assaulting her?

My niece assaulted my mother and the commonwealth picked up the assault charges after pulling my niece over because she had purchased cold medicine too many times. My mother does not want to testify against her but has been summoned to court.

Asked on August 11, 2010 under Criminal Law, Kentucky

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your mother should hire an attorney as soon as possible.  While the general rule is that the state may compel a witness -- such as your mother -- to testify, an attorney will be able to advise her how to take affirmative steps to reduce the likelihood of the state's doing so.  For example, an attorney will be able to convey your mother's wish not to cooperate with the prosecution to the state, and/or will be able to file a protective order or advise your mother how to effectively plead the fifth -- all of which may result in her no longer having to testify.  In any event, however, if your mother fails to obtain legal counsel she may very well be compelled to testify against her own grandchild under the penalties of perjury.


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