What If A Domestic Violence Victim Refuses To Testify

July 12, 2019

In many domestic violence cases, the prosecution will rely on the victim to testify. If these victims do not testify, then the state will typically not be able to file the case. 

Some people may believe that the state can make a victim testify, but they cannot. Victims still have the right to refuse to testify if they choose to. It can definitely hinder the prosecution if the victim does not testify to an act of domestic violence.

If the victim chooses to not be present at the trial, oftentimes, there is no evidence to submit to the jury and the charges are lowered or dropped. You might think that would be the end of the case, however, there are other ways the prosecution can proceed. 

How Will the Prosecution Respond?

Even if the prosecution doesn’t have a victim who is willing to testify to the fact that they were abused, they may still have other evidence that would allow them to proceed with the case. There may be other witnesses to the domestic violence. Perhaps there were other people who saw the abuse happen?

There could even be video footage of the crime. Video recordings do not lie, so if someone has access to this type of video footage of a crime being committed, it makes it very hard to dispute the charges.

What if a prosecutor has audio footage from a 911 call in which the victim talks about the abuse they allegedly received? If the alleged victim does not show up in court to testify against the defendant, that defendant and his attorney may be able to get that evidence tossed out of the court. 

You will need to know what evidence that the state has against you. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial to hire an experienced and knowledgeable criminal lawyer that understands the ins and outs of Florida laws. A skilled criminal lawyer will be able to get all of the important information that you need to build a rock solid case to the charges against you.

Will Prosecution Drop the Case If There Is Not Any More Evidence?

Any crime that the state prosecutes will have the burden of proving all elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The state will need to prove the following elements in order to convict you of battery in Florida:

  1. You intentionally struck a person or made contact with them against their own will.
  2. You intentionally caused bodily harm to another person. 

The state will need to prove that it the act was intentional. Pictures alone might not do this. They can show any harm that was done, but it would be very hard to prove it was intentional. 

If the victim fails to show up to testify, it could be very hard for the state to prove anything. If the prosecution lacks any evidence, it will be hard to convict you of domestic violence. 

Musca Law

If you have domestic violence charges against you, you must realize how serious they are. These charges will impact your life right now as well as your future. Musca Law can fight for your rights as we have over 150 years of combined experience. Please call us today at (888) 484-5057 to set up your free initial consultation.