My boyfriend and I got into a physical fight and I'm 6 months pregnant. I called the police and made a report and the following morning wrote a statement for them to issue an arrest warrant. He was also on probation for carrying a weapon. After 2 weeks he was arrested for the aggravated assault warrant and bonded out but was never released from jail due to probation violation because of the assault. They gave him another bond but he hasn't bonded out. I don't want to go to court against him and hope they can't force me to testify against him. He was in good standing with his probation officer and this makes the first violation.
RULE 45.05: SUBPOENA FOR A HEARING OR TRIAL — PERSONAL ATTENDANCE.
(1) At the request of any party, subpoenas for attendance at a hearing or trial shall be issued by the clerk of the court in which the action is pending, and such a subpoena may be served at any place within the state.
The power of the prosecutor to force testimony is contained in the rule cited above. There is a territorial limitation to the boundaries of Tennessee. All people not found within this limited area of the state or not served an out of state subpoena or an order of the court requiring attendance are under no duty to attend court. That could eliminate you being required to testify.
However, the fact that you were engaged in the altercation could or would allow you to assert a fifth amendment right to refuse to testify due to a possibility of being charge based on your involvement in the altercation.
You should hire an attorney in your jurisdiction to assist you and advise you as to the possible ramifications of your actions if you chose to avoid service of a subpoena or asserting a fifth amendment right to remain silent and not testify. A possible consequence includes being charged with a crime for filling a false statement to police officers
39-16-502. False reports.
(a) It is unlawful for any person to:
(1) Initiate a report or statement to a law enforcement officer concerning an offense or incident within the officer's concern knowing that:
(A) The offense or incident reported did not occur;
(B) The person has no information relating to the offense or incident reported; or
(C) The information relating to the offense reported is false; or
(2) Make a report or statement in response to a legitimate inquiry by a law enforcement officer concerning a material fact about an offense or incident within the officer's concern, knowing that the report or statement is false and with the intent to obstruct or hinder the officer from:
(A) Preventing the offense or incident from occurring or continuing to occur; or
(B) Apprehending or locating another person suspected of committing an offense;
(3) Intentionally initiate or circulate a report of a past, present, or impending bombing, fire or other emergency, knowing that the report is false or baseless and knowing:
(A) It will cause action of any sort by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with those emergencies;
(B) It will place a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or
(C) It will prevent or interrupt the occupation of any building, place of assembly, form of conveyance, or any other place to which the public has access.
(b) (1) A violation of subdivision (a)(1) or (a)(2) is a Class D felony.
(2) A violation of subdivision (a)(3) is a Class C felony.
You are treading on dangerous ground.
You are not required to appear at each of his court dates. You only have to come to Court if notified by the prosecutor or by subpoena. If you fail to appear after being served by a subpoena, the Judge could issue an order for the Sheriff to arrest you and hold you until he can address why failed to appear. It doesn't happen in all domestic violence cases but it does happen. Your better bet is to show up and tell the prosecutor what happened and why you want the charges dropped (assuming that's what you want). Then the prosecutor will decide; you no longer have the option of dropping charges, only the State has that option.
Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship. I provide this service for educational purposes only. I will take no action on your behalf unless you have hired me and a written retainer agreement is signed. I am licensed only in Tennessee and I strongly suggest you consult with an attorney in your city and state as Statute of Limitation deadlines can limit your recovery.
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