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If I dont show up for court as a witness will the charges be dropped against him? does it help that the cops filed three differe

Tacoma, WA |
Filed under: Criminal charges

reports, and that I was not the one who called the cops and there were no witnesses other than me?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

It depends on whether you were personally served with a subpoena by an officer or someone that is at least 18 years of age OR was the subpoena sent through the mail. Additionally, whether or not you wrote out your statement to the police or he wrote it out and you signed it. Was it written or just verbal info to the police.

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12 comments

Asker

Posted

was written but i later wrote i wasnt pressing charges

Patrick Owen Earl

Patrick Owen Earl

Posted

What about the issue of subpoena?

Kenan Lee Isitt

Kenan Lee Isitt

Posted

The issue of retracting a statement comes up extremely often. You would need to talk to a criminal defense attorney in Tacoma to address how the prosecutors there respond. In some counties or cities, the prosecutor will continue to press the case even if the victim does not show up. The first written statement (at the time of the incident) is often the only statement that is needed to convict somebody for assault, even if the victim does not show up in court at all.

Asker

Posted

Can I plea the fifth? If I have to testify?

Patrick Owen Earl

Patrick Owen Earl

Posted

Do you understand what Plea the 5th means? It means that you don't want to give incrimidating statement against YOURSELF not against another person.

Asker

Posted

Yes I know what it means I'm just wondering if I can use it in this case?

Patrick Owen Earl

Patrick Owen Earl

Posted

Did you attack the other person first? Did you start the physical part of the situation?

Asker

Posted

No I did not and I'm trying to see what I can do cause I do not want to testify and I'm afraid if I do I may say something wrong because it'll be a year when that time comes

Asker

Posted

No I did not and I'm trying to see what I can do cause I do not want to testify and I'm afraid if I do I may say something wrong because it'll be a year when that time comes

Patrick Owen Earl

Patrick Owen Earl

Posted

OK You need to sit down and talk with an attorney in his/her office about what is happening. You really do now.

Asker

Posted

isnt it conflict of interest to talk to the other parties attorney ?

Patrick Owen Earl

Patrick Owen Earl

Posted

I am talking about talking to an attorney for YOU

Posted

Did you make any statements to police earlier? Especially any at the time of the crime? There are ways for the prosecution to allow police testimony as to what you said. Also, they may subpoena you and have the sheriff's office escort you to court if you do not cooperate.

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4 comments

Asker

Posted

i barely spoke with the police and had to despute some of the things that were said by them at the time of the incident i wrote to the da about this, and the police reports are all different there was three different reports

Patrick Owen Earl

Patrick Owen Earl

Posted

What Robert and I are trying to get an answer to is, "did you write out a statement at the time of the investigation or did the officer write out a statement for you and DID YOU SIGN IT? It would have had a print line at the end that talked about signing it under the penalty of perjury. Did you sign something like this???

Asker

Posted

Really don't remember I do remember writing something on that day

Patrick Owen Earl

Patrick Owen Earl

Posted

At this point like I told you before. You need to consult with an attorney because your liability or potential for criminal problems for yourself is a possibility here. Call someone tomorrow.

Posted

This questions is nearly impossible to answer without knowing more specifics about this case. If you are served with a subpoena and found to be a material witness to the case, the court could issue a material witness warrant for your arrest. If arrested on that, you would then, in theory, be brought to court by law enforcement after arrest. The prosecution may also attempt to introduce statements you made to law enforcement even if you do not appear in court, which they may be able to do in a limited set of circumstances. If there is a confession by the defendant and some form of evidence supporting that (e.g. photos of injuries, medicals, photos of damage, etc.) the prosecution may also be able to proceed forward. It also sounds as though at least one other person was involved if you were not the one who called law enforcement and, depending on what is on the 911 recording (if there is one), that may be admissible as well.

So, the short answer is simply not showing up for court does not necessarily mean the charges will automatically be dropped.

Jeff Holmes - Attorney at Law - www.vancouverdefense.com - 360.975.9288. Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. This information is based on general principles of law, as well as my general experience that may or may not relate to your specific situation. This information is not meant to take the place of actually consulting an Attorney in your jurisdiction. If you would like legal advice, I would recommend consulting an attorney in your locale.

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Posted

You may retain your own lawyer to advise you what your options are depending on whether the service of the subpoena was done according to rules. Your lawyer also may be able to analyze the case and/or consult with his lawyer to see whether your absence will defeat the prosecutor's ability to prove the case. His lawyer may not advise you. These questions require a very specific analysis of the facts, and this forum is not a good place to do that.

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5 comments

Asker

Posted

according to washington law what is the worst case sceniro if a subpoena is issued and that person were to not show?

Asker

Posted

could that person face felony charges or time in jail?

Lenell Rae Nussbaum

Lenell Rae Nussbaum

Posted

I have seen cases where the State chooses to proceed to trial without the "victim." I also have seen cases where the court issues a warrant for the witness's arrest, and that person ends up in jail. Failing to respond to a subpoena is not a separate crime, but it permits the court to enforce the subpoena by having a witness arrested and kept in jail to assure the person will be available for the trial. The court also can set conditions for releasing the person. The courts do not routinely take this approach, but occasionally they do.

Asker

Posted

thank you for letting me know, so would the subpoena be dropped once court is over if that were the case?

Lenell Rae Nussbaum

Lenell Rae Nussbaum

Posted

I am not sure I can answer that question simply. It depends.

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