Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
If my 16 year old brother was assaulted with a gun and his bike was stolen by this individual, can he drop the charges? My brother was able to identify the individual who assaulted him because he lives down the street from where my parents live. He was summoned to court to testify (I guess this person had other charges from people), and my brother is afraid of retaliation, what can he do to get out of the situation? Los Angeles, CA
Response: He can refuse to testify. However, that does not mean that the State would drop the case. But if he does not testify, the State may not have a choice but to drop the case if his testimony is crucial to the case. So, he should let the DA know that he is afraid of retaliation and thus would not be testifying in the case.
Can he be forced to testify even if the D.A. wants to pursued him to testify? In his case, can he ask for a public defender if needed?
Can he be forced to testify even if the D.A. wants to pursued him to testify? Response 1: Yes, however, it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY. In his case, can he ask for a public defender if needed? Response 2: No, because he is not the one being charged with a crime—his freedom is not at stake. So, he is not entitled to an Attorney, but if he wants me, then he needs to do that at his own expense.