Must I appear in court if I’m the victim?

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Must I appear in court if I’m the victim?

I recieved a notice of trial letter in the mail today. I am the victim. It says that I don’t have to show up unless it is set for trial but it is. Will I be negatively affected if I don’t appear or don’t call and give them my information? I want nothing to do with this and and I work full-time; I can’t just get up and leave.

Asked on December 4, 2012 under Criminal Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, the prosecutor has the ability to force you to appear and testify; if you do not, then you  may be subject to sanction, or punishment, by the court. That sanction could potentially include being jailed for contempt of court. You are better off speaking with the prosecutor, explaining your issues or concerns, and trying to work something out, than you would be if you refuse to appear.


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