My boyfriend was recently convicted for domestic violence. Obviously the court issued a protection order between us, and he is now facing a Violation of a Protection Order charge. He will be taking it to trial since it's a bunch of crap. The protection order was dropped a while ago and so was the domestic violence charge. But the DA decided to re-open the case as a felony, therefore the protection order was in place again. Neither me or my boyfriend knew about it since the order was dropped before the case was dismissed then reopened again. And no one let us know that there was a protection order like they did the first time. And now I have been served with a subpoena to appear at his trial. So I have a couple questions
1. Does he have a fighting chance since he didn't "knowingly" violate
.. the protection order? 2. What will happen if I don't show up to his trial? I know I'll probably go to jail, but will the prosecution still have a good case against him if I don't show up?
I will talk with you about "legalities" and "realities" from 21 years split between being a judge, a prosecutor, and a criminal defense attorney. Legalities- The DA does need to prove the jury that your boyfriend knew about the existence of the restraining order by being served with a copy of it. Whether they try to prove that through the previous RO or the current one, we do not know. However, if the prior case was dismissed, that RO is out and they would need to prove the current RO. If you were served with a subpoena through personal service, you are court ordered to appear at trial.
Realities - it is hard to prove any domestic violence case with an uncooperative "victim" or witnesses. So, he does have a "fighting chance." Additionally, your boyfriend will have a much chance of beating the charges with the assistance of an attorney. So, I hope that he either has a court-appointed attorney or has hired an attorney.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
If your boyfriend was never served a copy of the new protection order, there may be a defense that he did not knowingly violate the order. It is typical that at first advisement in Weld County that the defendant is given a copy of the protection order and signs that order in front of the court. Sometimes that does not happen until a later appearance due to it being overlooked. Until a person is on notice of the order, it is difficult to show that a person violated that order.
If you have been served with a subpoena, that is a court order requiring you to appear at trial. There really isn't enough information here to answer your question about whether or not the DA could go forward without your testimony. That would depend on a number of factors, including whether or not there are other witnesses who can testify to the facts of the violation.
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