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If a spouse filed criminal charges on her husband and later stated in settlement that she will not testify. Shouldn't case be dr

Cumming, GA |

While going through a divorce with my now ex she had me arrested for assault. She stated that I threatened her over the phone. The charges were upgraded to terroristic threats because she says that her friend over heard the threat. We finalized our divorce and in the settlement she stated that she was not going to testify against me and no longer wanted to pursue the case. Shouldn't DA drop case if so called victim doesn't want to pursue or testify?

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Attorney answers 3


The DA does not have to drop the charges. In fact, it is rare for them to do so. They still want you to take a plea. It also depends on what other witnesses there are. If the friend who overheard the comments still want to testify, then they can still bring the case. At the end of the day, if no one shows up for the trial and there are no other witnesses, then they are likely to drop the charges, but there is no guarantee. It just depends on the totality of the circumstances involved in your case. Anytime you are dealing with a felony charge, it is worth your investment to hire a lawyer to conduct discovery and see what other potential witnesses are out there. Besides, your ex wife can always change her mind in the end...

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No. She can be forced to testify by subpoena, now that she is no longer your wife. She couldn't have been before. Plus, if she recants her story, she can be charged with telling lies to the police.


My colleagues are absolutely right, the D.A. can absolutely go forward with the State's case against you regardless of what was agreed upon between yourself and your ex-wife in a civil proceeding.

They are also right in that she will undoubtedly be subpoenaed to come and testify against you in your case. Furthermore, if she refuses or tells the D.A. that she made the allegations up, they could potentially charge her with false report of a crime.

HOWEVER, not all hope is lost. What she can do is higher an attorney to represent her interests preventing the D.A. and their staff from speaking with her without her attorney present, and she can also invoke her fifth amendment right to testify if subpoenaed to testify. In my experience the State's case becomes substantially more problematic and not worth messing with typically resulting in a very reasonable plea offer or in some case a dismissal. The only time I have seen this tactic used involved simple battery charges, so I do not recommend you do this without first hiring an attorney.

This of course is dependent on exactly what sort of evidence they have against you, and if there are any other witnesses that can testify about the events and particulars surrounding the charge in question.

Your best bet is for you to contact an attorney immediately, so your interests will be protected. Best of luck to you pal.

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