Based on your response, it sounds like you have a marital privilege that you can assert in order to refuse to testify against the defendant. If there is not other source of evidence besides you, for example, a third-party witness or your 911 call that falls into a narrowly drawn exception to the general rule against using the 911 call when the caller is not present to testify at trial, then the case will be dismissed on the trial date when the DA cannot go forward to trial.
You do not need to write any letter to the judge, nor should you attempt to do so. Communicate your intention to assert your marital privilege to the defendant's attorney and to the DA's office through the victim's advocate. Don't be surprised if the victim's "advocate" stops advocating for you, and tries to either convince you to testify or subtly (or not so subtly) threatens you, once she finds out you are intending to assert your marital privilege. In some courts, a judge will dismiss the case before trial once the marital privilege is asserted on the record (assuming there is no other evidence besides the spouse's testimony). In other courts, the judge won't dismiss the case until the trial date even if the spouse has asserted her privilege before trial.
Dominic Pang (617-538-1127)
Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only and it is not intended as legal advice. Additionally, this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you wish to obtain legal advice specific to your case, please consult with a local attorney.
As the victim, you don't necessarily need your own attorney. This case is in the hands of the DA now, and is his/hers to control. Make your request in writing to the DA, and then he/she has to decide if the case can move on without a cooperating victim. I don't believe you have standing to file a motion to dismiss directly with the judge (which is what you are asking).
To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state, I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.
You could also contact the defense attorney about how to help the defendant get the case dismissed.
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The judge does not have the authority to dismiss a case because the victim wants it dismissed. All criminal cases are in the hands of the DA and they are the only ones that can dismiss a case if the reason is the victim doesn't want to proceed. No ADA will dismiss a case because that's what the victim wants in a domestic violence case. Depending on the facts of the case they may not be able to proceed without your cooperation. However, unless you have a 5th amendment right not to incriminate yourself or are married to the defendant the DA can have a warrant issued for you to be brought to court. You should speak to the defendants defense attorney.
This is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
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