Do you have to testify against your spouse in a domestic violence case if you are subpoenaed?
Over a year ago, my husband verbally threatened me. The police came, no arrest was made. Almost a year later the police brought domestic charges against him. I have been subpoenaed. My husband and I are still together and there have been no additional domestic incidents. Do I have to testify in court against him?
The decision whether or not to prosecute a case (i.e. whether or not to drop charges) rests with the prosecutor and not with the alleged victim. What that means, from a practical standpoint, is that a case may be prosecuted over your objection. While the states case would be stronger with your help, if there is other evidence to support the charge the case may still go forward. That being said, a skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to use the fact that you do not want to cooperate as leverage to obtain a favorable result for the defendant (i.e. to potentially have the charges dismissed or otherwise resolved favorably). However, prosecutors are often very unwilling to simply drop these types of cases, particularly, because they do not want to send the message to offenders that, if they can intimidate or otherwise unduly influence a victim, they can get away with what they have done. As far as your testifying, if you are subpoenaed you must show up or you can be held in contempt of court and fined/jailed. Bottom line, you will need to speak with an attorney as to all of this.