If I have a protection order against my son’s father which he violated so he’s now in jail, will I have to go to court since I will have to be in the same room as him?

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If I have a protection order against my son’s father which he violated so he’s now in jail, will I have to go to court since I will have to be in the same room as him?

He broke the order numerous times and I filed a report at my local police department. They could not find him for months.

Asked on July 4, 2015 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I know it's an uncomfortable situation, but as a general rule, if a criminal case goes to trial, then any witnesses must appear and testify before the accused.  Defendants, with limited exceptions, have what is called "the right to confrontation."  Justice Scalia with the Supreme Court has stated that this rule literally means that the witness and the defendant must be in the same room.

However, don't stress on this particular issue before you have to.  A majority of cases in every jurisdiction are resolved by plea bargaining without anyone ever having to testify.  If the case does get to the point that you may have to testify, then talk to the prosecutor about any exceptions or alternatives to your personal appearance.  These are very limited, but not completely unheard of.   


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