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

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.

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Attorney answers 2


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. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.


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

This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply.

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