Will the DA dismiss if the witness is a no show?

Will the DA dismiss the case if the Wittness does not show up?

Hi guys. Jef Goldtrap here to answer your legal questions. Someone just asked me

Will the DA dismiss the case if the Witness does not show up?

Before I answer that let me say I have been a lawyer for more than 20 years. I have known many prosecutors. None of them “want” to dismiss a case. They do not take cases that they do not believe it. If they did not believe there was a crime they would not prosecute. So will a DA dismiss a case? Not if they can help it.

What will we do?

We will make it where the DA cannot help but dismiss the case. How?

Sometimes the State needs a witness. Sometimes the ONLY way to make the State’s case is with this one witness. Maybe no one else saw the crime. Maybe only one person was hurt by the crime. Maybe there is no other witness. The State has to have this witness.

But, the witness is not there!

The witness cannot or will not come to court!

The State has sent a subpoena. The State has told the person to come to court. The person refuses. They dodge the subpoena. The witness will not be in court come rain or shine. What will happen?

Your attorney will ask the JUDGE to dismiss the case for Failure to Prosecute. Remember the DA does not want to dismiss a case. The DA will not get excited to dismiss a case.

I will not ask the DA to dismiss the case. I will ask the JUDGE to dismiss the case. No witness not case. Put this case down. Let it be dismissed, please, Judge.

What can happen?

The Judge can agree and say “case dismissed.”

The DA can say, “give us one more chance.” If the Judge gives one more chance your case will be set for another court date.

No witness on the second date? Who could keep going with this case? The Judge will have to dismiss the case. If no one is in court to say that you committed a crime how can the case go on? It cannot.

Dismissed! Failure to Prosecute. With or without a DA agreeing it is going to happen.

Will the DA dismiss the case? Who cares? Ask the JUDGE to dismiss the case and wait for it to end.

I am Jef Goldtrap. I help people answer court questions. I hope I have helped. If you have other questions just call my office, email me or message me on FaceBook. Join my group Tennessee Legal Questions. Like my page.


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