Will A Domestic Violence Charge Be Dismissed if the Victim Doesn't Come to Court?

I am a Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer, meaning that I defend people accused of criminal Domestic Violence charges in Michigan. One common question I am often asked is: "will a Domestic Violence charge be dismissed if the Victim Doesn't Come to Court, or if they decide they no longer want to press charges?" Well, quite often, if the alleged victim does not show-up for Court, a Domestic Violence charge may be dismissed, but you're not quite off the hook yet! Here's why . . .

If the alleged victim of your Domestic Violence charge does not come to Court for your Domestic Violence Arraignment, Pretrial Conference, Settlement Conference, Final Settlement Conference or Sentencing, then your Domestic Violence charge will probably not be dismissed unless the Prosecutor has Subpoenaed them to appear. If no Subpoena has been issued, the alleged victim of your Michigan Domestic Violence charge has a right to appear, but is not required to appear unless a Subpoena has been served on them. Further, the alleged victim of a Domestic Violence charge is usually not actually Subpoenaed to anything other than a Bench Trial or a Jury Trial.

Still, if the alleged victim of your Domestic Violence charge is Subpoenaed to Court because it is a Bench Trial or Jury Trial and they still do not show-up, your Domestic Violence charge will generally only be dismissed "without prejudice," meaning that the Prosecution can bring the charges again if the alleged victim later changes their mind, or if a Bench Warrant is issued for their arrest for failure to comply with the Subpoena and they are arrested.

In the end, Prosecutors in Domestic Violence charges have a manual called the Domestic Violence Trial Manual. The Michigan Prosecutors' Domestic Violence Trial Manual teaches Prosecutors how to attempt to still find you guilty of Domestic Violence in Michigan, even where the alleged victim is testifying at Trial after he or she has recanted their original accusation against you. It includes techniques to question the alleged victim to suggest that they only changed their mind because you control the household, money, children, and to suggest that they have only changed their mind about pursuing your Domestic Violence charge because they are afraid of you.

To fight these tactics in your Domestic Violence charge, you should hire a Michigan Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer. The Law Office of Brian J. Prain, PLLC fights for those facing Michigan Domestic Violence charges every day. We have never had a client go to Jail for Domestic Violence! Call us immediately at(248) 731-4543 for a free face-to-face consultation. You have so much to gain and nothing to lose as you face your Michigan Domestic Violence charge.


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Prain Law, PLLC is focused only on the types charges featured on our website. This helps us deliver the decisive, effective advocacy for which our clients know us. We only serve individuals currently under investigation or who have a current case pending in court. Our firm does not represent injury victims, defendants who have already taken a plea or have been sentenced, or those seeking to expunge a criminal record. We do not respond to anyone who is not involved in a pending investigation or who has a court case for a type of charge we do not handle, but we wish you the very best of luck.