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If the state's witness doesn't show up, what happens?

Georgetown, DE |

My boyfriend is being charged with "violent" crimes based on witness statements. The witness states by BF pulled a gun on him. Our witnesses say there was no gun. If their witness doesn't show up, but defense witnesses do what happens? Would the charges have to be dropped if there is no other evidence other than the witness? I've been told their witness moved out of state.

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Attorney answers 3


Generally speaking, if the only evidence the State has is eyewitness testimony (in other words, they do not have physical evidence or the defendant's own statements), and the eyewitnesses do not show up, then they would be unable to prove their case. Often times, if the matter is set down for trial and the witnesses fail to appear after being subpoenaed, the prosecutor will dismiss the charges or at least offer a plea deal on reduced/amended charges.


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Any answer I submit on this site does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship with you. The answers I provide are meant for general educational purposes only.

I am an attorney who practices criminal defense and appeals in RI and MA. Because the laws in each state can be vastly different, I cannot guarantee that any insight I have on a particular area of law apply in your jurisdiction.

If you have an attorney, and an answer I provide differs from the answer your attorney gave you, you should probably rely on your attorney’s answer, since he or she is the one who is familiar with you and the facts of your case.


If I'm not mistaken, your boyfriend's situation has been the subject of several questions over the past two months or longer. In any event, I assume your boyfriend has counsel representing him. That attorney should be the sole source of information and advice about his case. Opinions from lawyers who don't have the necessary facts available to them runs a high risk of misleading and confusing the attorney/client relationship he has with his attorney. Let counsel handle this--no answer you will get here will in any way advance the interests of your boyfriend. Your interest is understandable but you need to leave the lawyering to the lawyer.


The state won't be able to prosecute without it's witness

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