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Does a female domestic violence victim have to testify in court?

Family Law Discussion Forum

Does a female domestic violence victim have to testify in court?

Postby elkan80 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:36 pm

I was having an argument with my dad and got hit in the face on school property a few months ago, and my boyfriend called and reported the incident to the police and so the cop who works at my school saw the incident on the security cam. I gave an interview to the police and said I specifically was NOT pressing charges, because he had never hit me before. But I understand the DA can press charges without my consent.

A few months have gone by, and I haven't heard any word from the DA or police or anyone. But my dad said the DA was pressing charges anyways, and he is being charged with DV. And my family is strongly discouraging me to testify against my father, but I'm 18 and I can choose to testify or not.

That is a little of the back story, and I don't know anything about DV laws in the state of Oregon. If I'm subpoenaed to show up in court, I will, but can they subpoena me to testify? My family basically told me I can refuse to testify. Can't I get in trouble if I refuse when they'be already told me to testify?
I really need an opinion of an outsider. Thanks!
elkan80
 
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Does a female domestic violence victim have to testify in court?

Postby abelard29 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:39 pm

While a spouse is not required to testify, a daughter can.

You cannot refuse to testify. You could be held in contempt of court and put in jail.
abelard29
 
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Does a female domestic violence victim have to testify in court?

Postby link » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:45 pm

"Only hit me once"? Is that like "He never robbed a bank before"? You do not necessarily get a free pass for a first offense. If there is no other criminal history, any sentence should be relatively light.

DO NOT LISTEN TO OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS. Prosecutions are to protect the whole society, not an individual victim. There are sanctions against violence, especially at a school.

Always respond to a subpoena unless your attorney advises otherwise. Always be honest in answering questions in court; if an objection is appropriate, your attorney will object. (A witness does not have to have an attorney, but can choose to have one.)

A criminal prosecution does not prevent you from going to counseling with or without your father. I strongly recommend it.
link
 
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Does a female domestic violence victim have to testify in court?

Postby parnell » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:51 pm

Yes, you can refuse to testify but then you'll be charged with contempt of court until you do decide to testify.

The only times you can refuse to testify and not face any legal consequences is when your testimony would incriminate yourself, or if you're asked to testify against your spouse.
parnell
 
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