If I’m the victim in a domestic violence case but no longer want to press charges on my husband, if I don’t show up to court to testify against him will the case get dismissed?

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If I’m the victim in a domestic violence case but no longer want to press charges on my husband, if I don’t show up to court to testify against him will the case get dismissed?

Asked on November 29, 2014 under Criminal Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, the case will not automatically be dismissed, since you are not in control of it at this point: the state (i.e. the prosecutor is), since the state brings the case for violation of its laws. You are a witness to the case--an important and possibly critical one, but still no more than a witness. The prosecutor may very well decide to dismiss, if there is no evidence other than your testimony (i.e. he couldn't win without you); he might also decide to dismiss if you ask him to do so, since prosecutors often choose to honor the victime's wishes in cases like this. However, you need to bear in mind that the prosecutor is not required to dismiss, especially if he thinks he has enough evidence without your testimony.


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