If a case goes to trial but there is no victim. She can’t be found or served is the case dismissed and inmate released

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If a case goes to trial but there is no victim. She can’t be found or served is the case dismissed and inmate released

The inmate is innocent. Only problem is
he has a manslaughter from 20 years ago.

Asked on January 25, 2018 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It depends on what other evidence there is. In a criminal trial, the victim is just a witness--an often-important, sometimes critical one, but still only a witness to the crime. The case can proceed and the defendant be convicted if there is sufficient other evidence. For example, take an assault case: if there was some or more of other witnesses to the assult, video/security camera footage, medical reports or X-rays or photographs showing the injuries, the defendant's DNA or fingerprints on the victim or a weapon, the defendant's ID found at the scene of the attack, etc., the defendant could easily be convicted even if the victim him/herself cannot be found.


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