Possibility of dropping charges against husband under CA criminal procedure
Temecula, CA |
my husband was arrested and released yesterday after I called the police and pressed charges. He is willing to start rehab tonight, but is afraid to miss his August 14th court date. If I drop the charges, does he still have to go to court?
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Once the arrest takes place, you decision to drop charges is not controlling on the District Attorneys Office. They can move forward with charges with or without your consent or cooperation. If your husband is in custody or rehab, then this can be coordinated by your attorney with the DA and court to allow for completion and/or a continued arraignment date. Your husband or his attorney will need to appear to enter a not guilty plea and/or to continue the arraignment date.
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Jon Mitchell "Mitch" Jackson
Jackson & Wilson, Inc.
Yes. If he has been given a court date he should appear until the court discharges him from further appearances. You should also check with a lawyer before you try to drop charges as it is the District Attorney who decides if charges are filed, not you.
Just as you didn't press the charges you can't drop them. You are the complaining witness. The DA's decision whether to prosecute or not might be influenced by you but it is ultimately the DA's call. If your husband simply skips a court date, rehab or not, he'll go back into custody and you won't be able to get him out. Don't be dumb: make the dates.
While you can't simply drop the charges, you can refused to testify under section 1219 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and you cannot be found in contempt by the court for refusing. The effect is the same as if you drop the charges because without your testimony the people likely have no case.