Westchester County DA wants to proceed with criminal charges and I don’t.

UPDATED: Jun 11, 2009

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Westchester County DA wants to proceed with criminal charges and I don’t.

A subponea was issued for me to be a witness by the Westchester County, NY District Attorney in a criminal case. I told the DA I wanted to drop the charges. Can I held in contempt for not showing?

Asked on June 11, 2009 under Criminal Law, New York


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Absolutely.  A subpoena is essentially a form of court order.  If you want to avoid testifying, you should talk to a criminal defense lawyer, because there is a procedure for "quashing" a subpoena, but if you're going to try that, you need to act right away, not wait until the last minute.  One place to find qualified attorneys is our website, http://attorneypages.com

Criminal charges are not something to be filed lightly, because once they are filed, they have a life of their own, and it is the prosecutor, here the Westchester County District Attorney, not you as the original complaining witness, who usually has the most control over that. And if the original complaining witness goes to court and testifies in a way that is totally inconsistent with what they said to start the case, the witness hemself can be charged with filing a false report -- or perjury.

If you really want to drop the charges, see a criminal defense attorney familiar with things in Westchester County. 

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