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My spouse got arrested for domestic violence because someone else called the cops on him for me, however I did not press charges. Now he's got to go back to Vegas. We reside in California but I can't go to court with him.

Can he get arrested if I do not show up with him?

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  • The question is a bit unclear: Who is supposed to appear in court? He, you, or both of you? And where - in California or in Las Vegas? Could you edit to clarify?
    – sleske
    Aug 30 '16 at 14:54
  • Totally unclear what you are talking about.
    – Cicero
    Aug 30 '16 at 16:14
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Possibly. I wonder if you mean "convicted" rather than "arrested"?

  • There is no way that he will be "arrested" because you don't accompany him ("arrested" is when he taken by the police before a trial).
  • On the other hand, if he plans to call you as a witness for the defence, then your absence may mean he is convicted at his trial when otherwise he would be found innocent.
  • The final possibility is that you might act as a character witness after conviction, and your absence may mean he is sent to jail rather than fined.

It may be possible for you to write a witness statement describing what happened, and to have this notarized. On the other hand, the prosecution may well want to cross examine you.

I am pretty sure you can write a character witness statement (saying, if true, that it's a first offence and that you have forgiven him, etc) and get it notarized. That might persuade a court to be lenient.

I think you (as a couple) need to talk to his lawyer.

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Yes he can.

You (as a private citizen) do not "press charges"; the state of Nevada decides if it is in the public interest that your husband face court for his alleged crime. Your involvement is beside the point.

If they have sufficient evidence and believe that the case should be pursued then they will seek an arrest warrant which is valid in all 50 states of the US and every country with which the US has an extradition treaty. Obviously, there are a lot of warrant's out there and police have other things to do then follow them all up, however, if he crosses paths with the police (e.g. Stopped for a traffic violation in California) then it will flash up that he has an outstanding warrant in Nevada and he will likely be arrested by the Californian police and extradited to Nevada to face court.

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  • Possibly worth mentioning that the DV prosecutorial guidelines in NV do not mention the victim's consent to charges being filed (part III). I'm pretty sure that most jurisdictions have similar guidelines.
    – jimsug
    Aug 29 '16 at 22:51
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    Even in Nevada, you cannot be arrested because someone else fails to appear. He can be arrested, period, and she can be arrested if subpoenaed and she fails to appear.
    – user6726
    Aug 29 '16 at 23:25
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    @jimsug: In fact those guidelines say "While the victim should be listened to with compassion, prosecution of the case should never be dismissed or deferred based solely upon her assessment of the violence." Aug 30 '16 at 10:43

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