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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Charges Dismissed After 3 Instances of Victim Failure to Appear

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Indiana

    I live in Indiana and had a domestic violence issue with my boyfriend while my 6 month old was in the apartment. To make it short, he choked me and I got scared and went the next morning (within 24 hour period) to the police station to report it. They saw a "mark" on my neck and took a picture of it and said that was proof enough to arrest him. I went to the bathroom at the police station and could not see a mark. I want the charges dismissed/dropped. I did not go to the first court date and a new one is set in less than a week. I have not been subpoenaed to go, yet-if i will, I don't know. What is the BEST way to have charges dropped? I have heard from an attorney who also is a judge that after 3 "victim fails to appear in court" then the case is dismissed. Is this true? And is a subpoena only valid if it is HAND delivered? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Charges Dismissed After 3 Instances of Victim Failure to Appear

    Nobody here is going to tell you to disregard your civic duties or, should it happen, to ignore a subpoena. If you fail to show, the future is uncertain. One prosecutor may drop the charge; another may have a bench warrant issued for your arrest as a material witness.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Charges Dismissed After 3 Instances of Victim Failure to Appear

    Given the fact that a child was in proximity, if the prosecutor's office feels they have even a decent shot at a case, they'll likely pursue it. Things take on a whole new twist when domestic violence occurs around children (even if the children aren't directly involved in the physical incident, just being there is enough). Regardless of charges going forward in this case or not, now that it's on the radar, Child Protective Services will be notified also, and will likely conduct at least a cursory investigation; so ANY future issues mean that you run the risk of them stepping in to remove the child due to failure to protect. Stay scared - it's the best way to protect yourself and your child, both from future incidents of violence, and from having the child removed for its own safety if you choose to remain in a violent environment.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Default Re: Charges Dismissed After 3 Instances of Victim Failure to Appear

    In my state, parents who are victims of DV and then drop the matter and return to their abuser get put under a microscope by CPS. I have accompanied CPS numerous times when we have gone to take children out of the home for this.

    I do not know the laws for subpoena service in your state, but in most places it does not have to be handed to you. They can simply yell through the screen door that it's there and drop it on the ground. It can even be delivered via the mail ... or done via public notice of some kind. There are options.

    If you wish to remain in a violent and abusive relationship, that is your choice. But, do not subject the child to it. If he means more to you than the child, then give up the child. Oh, and if this guy is not the father, and CPS gets involved, it is YOU (not he) that could be charged with the child neglect for failure to protect him. So, continue on this path and you will likely lose your child.

    For your own good, go to court and do the right thing. He did this to you, it was not a mistake and he will not change without being compelled to do so. You do him no favors by letting him get away with this, you only guarantee that it will continue because he will know that he will have control over you, and, that any future reports by you will be discounted because of this flakiness. He will be absolutely in control if you continue to avoid the situation ... not to mention you risk being arrested fr contempt of court.

    - Carl
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ...

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