Can D.A. coerce or intimidate a DV victim into testifying even when he or she is claiming that shse is protected under 1219b?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

The D.A. threatened the DV victim into testifying at a prelim on threat of arrest and reporting to CPS that she is being uncooperative. Then CPS threatened to adopt the children is she didn not testify when she did not want to.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Christine C McCall

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The protections of CCP § 1219b are very narrow and very specific and imprisonment is not the only incentive or disincentive that may be brought to bear against a reluctant witness in this situation. The District Attorney and the court have an array of lawful procedures available to deal with a critical witness who is presently reluctant to testify as subpoenaed. CCP § 1219b protects only against imprisonment.

    It is doubtful that the victim here is truly in the limited situation where the code section you are asserting is applicable. Has she been called to the stand? Asked to take the oath? Refused? Refused to answer any questions? Been threatened with contempt? The DA very likely recognizes that your girlfriend, in concert with you, is getting ahead of the situation.

    Be very clear that you have not played any part in the reluctance of the victim to testify. That issue may be inquired into and your gf may inadvertently put you at some risk with unschooled responses. You need to be clean as a whistle on this issue.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice.... more
  2. Seth Andrew Weinstein

    Contributor Level 15

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If the alleged victim refuses to testify, she can be held in Contempt of Court. However, under Marsy's Law, she cannot be arrested. She know has to pay a fine. The DA has the authority to report her non cooperation with CPS.

    Seth Weinstein, Esq.
    Practicing throughout Southern California
    (310) 707-7131
    www.sethweinsteinlaw.com

    This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient... more

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Criminal charges

Criminal charges are formal accusations in court that someone has committed a crime. Criminal charges have many classifications and degrees of severity.

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Domestic violence is physically, sexually, emotionally, economically, or mentally abusive behavior used to control an intimate romantic partner.

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