Will Hearsay Statements aid to the dismissal of the case? 1 Answers as of July 08, 2011In a statutory rape case I, as the victim, was asked questions and made to testify out of court (I believe it was in a counseling office) in front of a camera. I did not know I had the right to refuse. I do not want to testify in court and I have not yet been subpoenaed. By not showing up I would like to aid in the dismissal of the case but I fear the video they have of my hearsay statements will "soften the blow" of my not showing up. (In other words, I fear they will be able to carry on with the case even if I do not show up by using that video.) Did I have the right to refuse to make that video to begin with? If so, can I withdraw the video now (after months and months of the making of that video)? And if so, will that aid to the dismissal of the case?
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
First - you do not have the right to not show up if you are subpoenaed. If you do not show up, the State can have you picked up - even arrested and put under a witness bond which means you remain in jail unless you pay the bond until you testify. Hearsay statements that you made that were not in courtroom and the defendant's lawyer did not have the opportunity to cross examine you on are not admissible. I assume that you made statements to the Children's Assessment Center - this is normal. Generally these are NOT admissible in trial. (Some times the defense tries to get them in because the complainant says something different.) You did not have to participate in the video, but you were not accused or in custody so no one had to tell you any rights that you had. You have no right to "withdraw" or otherwise have any say so with regard to the video.
Answer Applies to: Texas