What Happens if a Domestic Violence Victim Doesn’t Show Up for Court?

Posted April 14th, 2023 by .

Categories: Domestic Violence.

domestic violence victim

Domestic violence is a serious matter. The New Jersey State Police note that there were 63,058 incidents of domestic violence reported in the state in 2020 alone—a six percent increase over the previous year. Allegations of domestic violence can lead to severe criminal charges. Of course, not every person accused of domestic violence, or any other crime, is guilty.

Every person has a right to defend themselves in court. This raises an important question: What if the alleged victim of domestic abuse never shows up to court? It could be an issue for the prosecution, but the case can move forward. Here, our Jersey City domestic violence defense lawyer explains the key things to know about what happens if the victim does not show up in New Jersey.

The Prosecution Makes the Decision: Can Move Forward With or Without Victim

When a domestic violence victim does not appear in court, it is up to the prosecution to decide whether to proceed with the case or not. The prosecution may choose to move forward based on the available evidence, even without the victim’s testimony. This can include physical evidence, photographs of injuries, witness statements, and any recorded 911 calls. If the victim previously gave a statement, that may potentially be admitted as evidence as well.

Proving a Criminal Domestic Violence Charge Can Be More Challenging Without the Victim

While it is possible to prosecute a domestic violence case without the victim’s testimony, it can be more challenging to prove the charges. The victim’s account of the events often provides crucial evidence that supports the prosecution’s case. Without this testimony, the prosecution may struggle to meet the burden of proof, which requires them to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the alleged crime. It is not unheard of—or even particularly unusual—for the state to drop a domestic violence charge if the alleged victim refuses to cooperate.

Domestic Violence Allegations Should Be Defended On a Case-By-Case Basis

Domestic violence allegations can have serious consequences for the accused, including criminal convictions, jail time, fines, adverse family law consequences, and long-term damage to their reputation. Therefore, defendants must seek legal counsel and build a strong defense tailored to the unique circumstances of their case. An experienced Jersey City defense attorney will consider factors such as the strength of the prosecution’s evidence, the credibility of the witnesses, and any potential legal defenses. You need a reliable advocate on your side.

Contact Our Jersey City Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Today

At The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, our New Jersey criminal defense lawyer is a compassionate, reliable advocate. With the skills and legal expertise to defend domestic violence charges, we can help you navigate the legal process. Contact us today to arrange your completely confidential, no-commitment initial legal consultation. From our Jersey City law office, we are well-situated to defend domestic violence charges throughout North Jersey.

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