Legal Question in Criminal Law in North Carolina

In a Domestic Violence case:

what could be the outcome of the trial in below scenario:

victim calls cop when defendant was not there.

victim says to cop that defendant abused her many times in the past and most recent was 10 days ago. shows minor marks also.

later victim disappear.

there is no other witness.

in this situation, what could be the outcome of the trial?

Asked on 4/19/13, 4:21 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Amanda Houser The Houser Law Firm, P.C.

Depends. If the state's witness (the victim) does not show up for Court, most likely the Assistant District Attorney will move for a continuance in order to subpoena the victim. You or your attorney should object and move to dismiss for the record but it will most likely be denied as most judges are of the opinion that each side should be granted at least one continuance for preparation purposes. If that happens, and the victim still does not show up for the next Court date the state will most likely not be able to proceed and will either move for another continuance or possibly dismiss the case. At this point, if the state opts not to dismiss the case, you or your attorney will be in a better position to have your own motion to dismiss granted - especially if the victim was actually served with a subpoena and failed to appear.

If at any point the victim shows up for court and testifies - who knows how it will turn out. In the scenario you provide, it would pretty much be your word against the victims and all things being equal, generally speaking you should be afforded the benefit of reasonable doubt and found not guilty. However, the judge as the finder of fact is ultimately charged with the responsibility to determine the credibility of the evidence presented - so it could go either way. In any event, you need an criminal law attorney experienced in domestic violence. If you represent yourself and you don't know what you're doing, you could end up helping the state prosecute you.

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Answered on 4/19/13, 5:24 pm

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