MustI apear in court as the complainant in a misdemeanor case?

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MustI apear in court as the complainant in a misdemeanor case?

I am the complainant in a misdemeanor case filed against my neighbor for a dog attack in which I was not bitten-but received injuries as a result of protecting myself from being bitten. I would like to know if I did not appear in court for the misdemeanor case, would the case be thrown out? And are there repercussions for me not appearing in court?

Asked on November 1, 2010 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you have not been subpoenaed, then no you do not have to appear.  Although the states' case will be stronger with your testimony.  in fact, if your testimony is not given, the DA may refuse to go forward with the case and dismiss it.  But there is not guarantee that this will happen.  If you have been subpoenaed to appear, yes you must go to court. A subpoena compels the person served to comply with whatever is requested in the subpoena. Therefore if a person is compelled to testify in court or other legal proceeding, they are under a legal obligation to do so. Failure to comply with a subpoena is a criminal matter for which there are penalties, including fines and jail time.


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