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Would it be wise for the victim in a criminal case to meet with the defense attorney in order to help the defendant?

Dallas, TX |

The victim has filed an affidavit to dismiss any charges through the DA/Prosecutor's office, but was told the paperwork would not be "considered" in court, only filed. Should he provide the defendant's attorney with a copy of the signed affidavit or a letter stating he does not wish to file charges?

Attorney Answers 5


It is probably only THROUGH the defense attorney that the affidavit of non-prosecution will have much chance of being effective. The affidavit is only one piece of the puzzle. The affidavit needs to be backed up with persuasive advocacy. A lawyer needs to breath life into that piece of paper.

There is nothing wrong with a witness being openly on-board with the defense.

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Prosecutors are not in the business of dismissing cases. They're there to prosecute and to do otherwise goes against the grain. If the complaining witness wants to see a charge dismissed, then he should absolutely work with the defense attorney. Obtaining a dismissal is often counter-intuitive to the lay person. The complaining witness may present a lot of reasons for wanting a charge dismissed that end up unintentionally bolstering the prosecutor's desire to continue to prosecute.

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A crime victim is witness.

Witnesses are free to speak with the attorney for the defense.

"Wise" depends on all the details of the situation. If a person who is cast in the role of "victim" in a case wishes to help the defense by talking with the defense lawyer, that is permitted.

Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship is created by providing this answer. For specific advice about your situation, you should consult a competent attorney of your choosing.

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Depends on which "he" you are taliking about. He as CW is free to talk to anybody they like, and so is the defense attorney, the State's skewed beliefs about that not withstanding. If you are talking about the State, then it's "Not should, must". Such an affidavit is clearly exculpatory "Brady" material. As such, failure by the prosecutor to make it available to the Defense Counsel calls the State's whole case into question. Must. Dig?

As to CW meeting with defense counsel, that's up to him/er (and their counsel). If all is on the up and up, they should not fear from a filing a false report or obstruction beef. But the State does not care for their CW changing their story, in a formal way. Bear that in mind. They may certainly threaten to file "Filing a false report". But they seldom do so.
I'd say get an atty, but I suspect you are one.

This answer is in the nature of general information only and does not constitute legal advice or the formation of an attorney-client relationship.

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Everyone here has provided excellent advice. The non-prosecution affidavit can produce results in the right type of case. By all means, if the "victim" is willing to speak with the defense lawyer, allow the lawyer to facilitate this meeting.

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