View Full Version : Are charges dismissed if the victim doesn't show up for court?


DollFace13
08-11-2010, 10:36 PM
My boyfriend was arrested June 11th and is being charged with attempted car jacking with a firearm. He has a co-defendant but his parents posted bail and hired a lawyer for him. I have not read the police report but from what I've heard at court and from his mom is that the "victims" said they heard the other guy say "lets just take their car" and they said they saw a gun on him, it also says that he picked up a brick and handed it to my BF and then he threw it at the car window.
They are both pleading not guilty and they were offered 2 deals. The first deal was 1yr in jail and a strike on their record. they both turned it down. The second deal for my BF was to be released that day and take a strike on his record, he said no to that also. He told me that his PD told him worst case scenario is 15yrs!
Ok so nobody had a gun and nobody even knows why the "victims" said they did. In court I heard the DA say that no gun was recovered and there is no evidence of a gun or time for them to hide it even if there was one.
So the co-defendant and his lawyer are trying to say that he had no involvement, that my BF started everything and that they were simply trying to calm him down and get him to leave. I overheard the DA say that the police report says otherwise and says my BF is the LEAST involved.
My BF's public defender said that the next court date is when the "victims" are expected to show up and she got a few phone numbers from me for witnesses to speak on my BF and the other guys behalf. I'm super nervous, I have no idea what to expect. I also overheard the DA say to the co-defendants Lawyer and my BFs PD that if the "victims" don't show up that the case most likely will not be perused.

I hoping and praying that they don't show up but if they do I have NO IDEA what to expect. And if they don't show up what happens? is the case dropped? and if so how long until my BF is released?

Gryphon
08-11-2010, 10:57 PM
Your boyfriend was offered a very good deal relative to what could happen if he is convicted. In addition to the carjack, there are additional counts (like ADW) lurking in these facts; and there is also a conspiracy theory that could be explored. He might come out of teh case with more than one strike if things go badly.
The reason for the "get out of jail" offer on a violent crime is that the DA may have witness problems. Then again, they may not. Sounds like the attorneys are having a "live" preliminary examination, where they will have live witnesses rather than police testifying as to what people told them. That's one way to find out if you have witness problems.
If the victims don't show up, that doesn't mean the DA has to drop charges. They can still use hearsay at the Preliminary Examination and see if the witnesses show up for trial. They could also dismiss at trial, and refile the case (starting all over again). That gives them more time to find witnesses. If they don't have a way to present evidence the second time, they have to dismiss.
Of course, a DA can elect to dismiss a case early on if they want to. It sounds like you overheard somethiung encouraging if the witnesses don't show up; but of course you might not have overheard things correctly. maybe "not pursue" means the DA won't be seeking arrest warrants for non-appearance but intends on going forward. Maybe it means the case will be dismissed. You need more information to be able to tell what the DA intends.
If they do show up, and it is in fact a PX (Preliminary Examination), the judge needs to find some evidence to support the allegations. It doesn't take much, basically a finding that there is something to argue about. After a holding order, dates are set for filing an information in teh trial department. That document will be the charges he goes to trial on, which can be different than what he's facing now.
You can't really evaluate the physical impossibility defense re the handgun without a police report.

Strikes are scary.
A strike means that if he picks up any future felony he's supposed to go to prison for a double sentence to be served at not less than 80%. If he took that deal and violated probation, he could go to prison and serve 85% of his sentence because it is a violent crime.
If he picks up more than one strike, he could be looking at 25 to life for any future felony (although since the crimes came out of a single incident that's a strong consideration to not give him 25 to life and instead only give him a double term).

So, when he's to be released is subject to too many variables to hazard a guess. It sounds like as soon as a next court date, as late as a not guilty verdict, or in the alternative as late as a prison or county jail release date. Unfortunately, it sounds like he has a 15 year range if the maximum sentence information was correct.


My boyfriend was arrested June 11th and is being charged with attempted car jacking with a firearm. He has a co-defendant but his parents posted bail and hired a lawyer for him. I have not read the police report but from what I've heard at court and from his mom is that the "victims" said they heard the other guy say "lets just take their car" and they said they saw a gun on him, it also says that he picked up a brick and handed it to my BF and then he threw it at the car window.
They are both pleading not guilty and they were offered 2 deals. The first deal was 1yr in jail and a strike on their record. they both turned it down. The second deal for my BF was to be released that day and take a strike on his record, he said no to that also. He told me that his PD told him worst case scenario is 15yrs!
Ok so nobody had a gun and nobody even knows why the "victims" said they did. In court I heard the DA say that no gun was recovered and there is no evidence of a gun or time for them to hide it even if there was one.
So the co-defendant and his lawyer are trying to say that he had no involvement, that my BF started everything and that they were simply trying to calm him down and get him to leave. I overheard the DA say that the police report says otherwise and says my BF is the LEAST involved.
My BF's public defender said that the next court date is when the "victims" are expected to show up and she got a few phone numbers from me for witnesses to speak on my BF and the other guys behalf. I'm super nervous, I have no idea what to expect. I also overheard the DA say to the co-defendants Lawyer and my BFs PD that if the "victims" don't show up that the case most likely will not be perused.

I hoping and praying that they don't show up but if they do I have NO IDEA what to expect. And if they don't show up what happens? is the case dropped? and if so how long until my BF is released?

DollFace13
08-11-2010, 11:17 PM
Thank You for your response... I was sitting less then 5 feet away from where the DA, my BF's public defender and the co-defendant's Lawyer were having the discussion.

here's what happened that night. They were all out at the bar after one of the Laker games. They basically got into a drunken bar fight with some random people. They did not try to steal their car and nobody had a gun.

The DA said about 3 different times to the lawyer and public defender that he thought the case was ridiculous I heard him say that it probably was some "dumb macho bravado drunk fight and unfortunately your client (talking to the co-defendant's lawyer) is the one that changed the severity of the situation with the statement he claimed to have said" "The victims story does not seem to be very credible and I wouldn't be surprised if they don't show up anyway. And if the victims do flake then I don't want to waste my time pursuing this case"
they had about 3 different conversations but that's basically what the DA said to sum it up

thatwiz
08-12-2010, 01:26 PM
Once again it is not contingent on the victims or witnesses. If they are given a supeona-they have to come. Most domestic violence victims also don't show or want to persue, but that does not stop the case. It is not persons VS boyfriend, it is the State vs boyfriend and they will decide whether to move forward.

DollFace13
08-13-2010, 03:22 AM
I understand that it's the State Vs both of them I was just wondering and having some wishful thinking after I heard the DA say that this case was a waste of time.

I've been pretty confident since the beginning that the case will get thrown out based on lack of evidence because honestly the accusations are ridiculous and there are about 6 witnesses that are beyond shocked that this has even gone as far as it has. I guess since the next court date is a week away I'm just letting my nerves get to me and I'm running every possible situation through my head. I know there is a very serious possibility that the situation can go from bad to worse for my boyfriend and his "friend" the charges they are facing are VERY serious and that in itself has me worried but like I said they were not trying to steal a car and nobody had a gun. They had 2 cars there, and the only conclusion we can come to is maybe they saw a phone or belt buckle or a glimpse of something and thought they saw a gun. The situation is immature and stupid I hope and pray the case gets thrown out and maybe this will teach them a lesson to not drink so much when they go out.

I'm sorry i'm just super worried :(

thatwiz
08-13-2010, 07:30 AM
Yeah, I know you're worried. Unfortunately, you won't know until something happens-guessing really will just make you crazy, because it could be nothing to everything. hang in there.

Colorado_Lawyer
08-13-2010, 06:08 PM
I agree, you are just going to have to hang in there. If the DA already thinks that the case is a waste of time, then he is going to be more likely to dismiss if the victims stop cooperating or don't cooperate. Unfortunately, you are just going to have to be patient while the pretrial process progresses. Good luck and I hope there is a good resolution.

Yeah, I know you're worried. Unfortunately, you won't know until something happens-guessing really will just make you crazy, because it could be nothing to everything. hang in there.

yourself
08-13-2010, 08:29 PM
as to the original question - will they dismiss if the victim doesn't show up and testify - there are plenty of causes of action where the victim never shows up, and never testifies. Murder, for example. You can be convicted without the testimony of the victim.

Prosecution is at the discretion of the prosecutor. They decide to charge, and what to charge. If the prosecutor is POed about the case and the case is weak, that's great, but just remember, the Prosecutor can have a temper tantrum, threaten to drop the case and never do it. I know it's tempting to latch on to what he says after a hearing, but just remember, until there's a signed piece of paper or a motion granted in court, it's just talk.

It's ok to be worried. It's ok to focus on one positive thing. Just don't get your hopes up. When dealing with my brother and his convictions, I found it best to be prepared for the worst. Then, when it doesn't happen, you can be delightfully surprised. My mom was the exact opposite. She expected her baby to get off scott free. He was busted with more than 56 pounds of marijuana in his car and it wasn't suppressed. As a result, she was greatly disappointed. I tried to convince her 7 years was a win, but she wanted nothing to do with it - her baby was innocent.

Be worried. Please, vent to your support system, including the PTO, but be prepared just in case.

DollFace13
08-14-2010, 12:15 AM
OH this makes sense now...I didn't title this thread "Will they dismiss the case if the victims don't show up" I already know that the victims don't NEED to cooperate in order for the Judge to find him guilty. I was just asking for opinions based on the info I've heard from the DA and from my BF's PD and the co-defendants lawyer.

I was kinda wondering why everyone was directing their answers like that...lol...makes sense now though and thank you still for your responses.
i'm just trying to ease my mind