Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu

What if the Victim Will Not Testify in a Delaware Assault Case?


If you were arrested for assault in Delaware, you probably already know that every shred of evidence could make or break your case. The same is true for the government, since evidence is critical for the prosecution to meet its burden. The Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution requires the prosecutor to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Your strategy will be to prevent this from happening, by attacking the government’s evidence and presenting proof in your defense.

For the prosecutor, the core evidence in an assault case is testimony from the person who was attacked. In addition to being the victim, this individual is also a witness. Therefore, when the witness cannot or will not testify, the government’s case is significantly weakened. A Wilmington assault defense lawyer can explain how this scenario offers advantages and opportunities, but there are some points to keep in mind.

Understanding Government’s Burden: The prosecutor is in a tough spot when the victim of assault does not testify, and the reason is the heavy burden on the government in a criminal case. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt means that the jury sees only the guilt of the defendant, and no other possible explanation that can result from the evidence.

Unless the witness affirmatively testifies that you are the person who committed the assault, the jury could find that someone else was the perpetrator. Jurors could also find that there was no attack on the victim, so there may be multiple possibilities to defend the assault charges in your case.

Evidence for the Prosecutor: You do not get a win in an assault case just because the victim will not testify, because there are other forms of proof that the government may use to meet its burden. For instance:

  • The transcript of a 911 call may be used as evidence proving the assault.
  • If there were other witnesses, they may testify regarding the attack on the victim.
  • In some public spaces and common areas in buildings, a prosecutor could obtain surveillance video of the attack. This footage could be used as evidence.

 Other Defenses in Delaware Assault Cases: Attacking weaknesses in the government’s case is one powerful strategy to fight the charges, but you may also have other defenses. When it is time for you to present your evidence, you may have proof regarding:

  • An alibi establishing your presence somewhere else;
  • A situation of mutual combatants, often a typical bar fight in which the involved parties were both attackers and victims; and,
  • Lack of intent to assault someone, such as by accidentally bumping them.

Trust a Delaware Assault Defense Attorney to Fight for You

The government has a heavy burden to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, so the absence of a victim as a witness does lean in your favor. Legal representation is still critical, so please contact Attorney Michael W. Modica to discuss strategies for defending assault charges in Delaware. You can set up a consultation at our offices in Wilmington, DE by calling 302.600.1262 or visiting us online.

MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2017 - 2024 Michael W. Modica, Attorney at Law. All rights reserved.
This law firm website is managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab