In Colorado, it is not the victim’s decision as to whether or not charges should or will be dropped; once an individual is arrested for domestic violence, it is the state’s decision as to whether the case should proceed.
In fact, many domestic violence prosecutions involve uncooperative victims. An allegation of domestic violence often is made in a moment of jealousy, or revenge, and those highly emotional moments can lead to a person making statements and accusations they later regret. However, many alleged victims are surprised that their asking for the charges to be dropped, or admitting to the prosecutor that the allegations were fabricated, do not typically result in a domestic violence case being dismissed.
An individual who is uncooperative with the prosecution, and has learned that the charges will not be dropped, often decides that they will not appear in court. Of course, an individual is not required to appear in court unless they have been personally served, or waived personal service upon receipt of a mailed subpoena. An individual receiving a subpoena in the mail does not have an obligation to appear unless they also execute the waiver of personal service and return that to the sending party.
In most cases, if the victim has not been served and does not appear in court for the trial, the case will be dismissed. However, in some cases it may be possible for the prosecution to proceed without the presence of the victim, either where a third party witnessed the incident, or where the non-appearing victim had previously made a statement regarding the incident to help the police resolve an ongoing emergency. For example, if the alleged victim had previously called 911 during the alleged assault for which the defendant was prosecuted, while that incident was ongoing – as opposed to calling after the incident had ended – that call could be introduced into evidence even if the victim herself did not appear in court.
While an uncooperative victim does not necessarily mean your case will be dropped, any case where the alleged victim is uncooperative with the prosecution and instead willing to work with your domestic violence defense attorney does present an advantage to you in court. Regardless of whether the alleged victim want the charges to be dropped, the best defense is the retention of a competent, experienced domestic violence defense lawyer to work aggressively on your side towards an ideal resolution.
To benefit from domestic violence defense attorney Kimberly Diego’s vigorous attention to the law and commitment to clients, call 720.257.5346 for a free consultation or simply fill out the FREE CASE REVIEW form,