If I can’t get a domestic violence charge dropped against my ex, what happens if I don’t testify against him in court?

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If I can’t get a domestic violence charge dropped against my ex, what happens if I don’t testify against him in court?

My ex has lived with me for years. We argued one day so I called 911 and he was arrested and sent to the hospital and stayed in the hospital for around 2 days for an eye injury that the police caused. He was never taken to jail or booked or anything. I have bad panic attacks and they had me write down what I may of thought at my house. I never went and filed charges against him and my grown kids went and picked him up when he was being released from the hospital. He had to go to court and was appointed a public defender. They charged him with simple domestic violence and fighting; we he did not do. He had open heart surgery 2 years ago and he can’t even fight me or even run. They served me with papers tonight to testify against him next month. I am going to call the DA on Monday and tell him that I want it dismissed and he doesn’t that I’m taking the fifth in anything they ask me. Even if they threaten me.

Asked on January 26, 2018 under Criminal Law, Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, it not up to you as to whether or not charges in this matter will be dropped; it is up to the DA. If there is enough evidence to support the charge the case will go forward. Further, as to your testimony, since you have been subpoenaed you must go to court as a subpoena is a direct court order to appear. If you ignore it then you can he held in contempt and a warrant for your arrest can be issued; you can face a fine and/or jail time. As for invoking "the 5th" (i.e. the right against self-incrimination), some domestic violence victims try to do this, however this right only applies if their testimony would cause them to incriminate themselves in he crime in some way. Finally, since DV victims frequently change their story at a later date; their written accounts of what happened at the time can be submitted as evidence if they refuse to apeear and testify.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, it not up to you as to whether or not charges in this matter will be dropped; it is up to the DA. If there is enough evidence to support the charge the case will go forward. Further, as to your testimony, since you have been subpoenaed you must go to court as a subpoena is a direct court order to appear. If you ignore it then you can he held in contempt and a warrant for your arrest can be issued; you can face a fine and/or jail time. As for invoking "the 5th" (i.e. the right against self-incrimination), some domestic violence victims try to do this, however this right only applies if their testimony would cause them to incriminate themselves in he crime in some way. Finally, since DV victims frequently change their story at a later date; their written accounts of what happened at the time can be submitted as evidence if they refuse to apeear and testify.


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