23 January, 2021

Many states allow for what is known as spousal testimonial privilege. This means that legally, spouses are not forced to testify against their spouse in court. This law was put in place to allow spouses to not be forced against their will to testify against their husband or wife.

But what happens in the case of domestic violence? What happens if the victim doesn’t show up at the trial for the domestic violence or refuses to testify against their spouse by invoking spousal testimonial privilege?

Continue reading to learn more about what happens if a victim is refusing to testify, or give Leyba Defense a call to schedule a consultation with a seasoned attorney. 

Domestic Violence Victim

What Happens When A Domestic Violence Victim Does Not Show Up For Court

When an individual is arrested for domestic violence accusations, they may be ordered to not return to their residence or see their spouse or children.

This happens before the domestic violence charges go to court and is meant to protect domestic violence victims from harm. 

In the event that the victim would like to drop the charges of domestic violence and resolve the matter, the victim may appeal to the judge to dismiss the order of protection.

So What Happens If The Victim Refuses To Testify?

If a domestic violence victim does not show up for court or is refusing to testify, the case and charges may be dropped. 

Domestic violence charges are likely to be dropped if there is not sufficient evidence for the domestic violence charge and evidence can be hard to come by if the victim refuses to testify. 

If, however, there is good evidence, then the prosecutor or prosecuting agency may subpoena the domestic violence victim in order to force them to testify. 

Reasons a Domestic Violence Victim Might Be Refusing To Testify 

Here are three major reasons why a domestic violence victim might be refusing to testify: 

  • Fear of the defendant. This is the main reason why domestic violence victims don’t show up for court. Oftentimes, they are afraid of the defendant and what might happen is the protection order is broken. 
  • Financial dependence on the defendant. Victims may have nowhere to go and may not know what to do if the defendant is convicted of the domestic violence charges. Victims of domestic violence are often in a disadvantaged place in life and are afraid of what might happen to them without the defendant. 
  • Intimidation by the defendant or the defendant’s family\friends. This is another big reason why a domestic violence victim might refuse to testify. The friends or family of the defendant might be taking the defendant’s side and intimidating the victim by showing up at the house or driving by. 

Get In Touch With a Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you are in need of legal services from a qualified criminal defense attorney, give Leyba Defense a call today

Here at Leyba Defense, expert criminal defense attorney, Matthew Leyba, has spent more than a decade defending his clients from criminal defense charges. 

No matter what kind of criminal charges you find yourself facing, contact Leyba Defense to get the expert legal help that you deserve. Matthew Leyba offers a free initial consultation for first-time clients where he’d be happy to discuss the particulars of your case with you.