If I was recently in a domestic dispute with the father of my unborn child but I no longer want to testify against him, how likely is it that the charges will be dropped?

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If I was recently in a domestic dispute with the father of my unborn child but I no longer want to testify against him, how likely is it that the charges will be dropped?

He was arrested and charges were filed, however I believe that they falsely charged him. I want him released. The original witnesses are no longer in contact and I refuse to testify against him.

Asked on November 4, 2015 under Criminal Law, Utah

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you have been subpoenaed to testify against him in court (and it you haven't yet you probably will), then you must appear in court and give testiminy. The fact is that a subpeona is a court order; you cannot just ignore it. If you do, you can be held in contempt and a warrant for your arrest can be issued. You can also face fines and/or jail time.
Some victims attempt to refuse to testify by trying to invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, however this right doesn't apply just because a witness doesn't want to testify. It applies only if the witness's own testimony would cause them to incriminate themselves in this or another crime. 
Finally, the fact is that even without the victim's cooperation, these cases can (and are) still pursued by the prosecutuion. While it would make for a stronger case, if there is other evidence that the defendant comitted the crime, the state will move forward since your testimony may not be needed. This means that the case will not be dropped.
At this point, you can directly consult with a criminal law attorney in your area as to your rights and legal obligations in this matter.


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