What is an Affidavit of Non-Prosecution?
A non-prosecution affidavit, often referred to as an affidavit of non-prosecution, is a legally binding sworn document.
It is typically filed by the plaintiff in a legal case to formally express their desire to discontinue the prosecution or their participation in the prosecution proceedings.
This affidavit serves as an important legal declaration and is subject to penalties, including perjury charges, if it contains false or misleading information.
Non-prosecution affidavits are commonly used in various legal contexts, such as criminal cases or domestic violence situations, to clarify the plaintiff’s stance on pursuing charges or legal actions.
If you are facing an assault or criminal charge in Texas, the cooperation of the victim or witness can be crucial for the prosecution’s case.
There are many instances in which a domestic dispute escalates to a criminal charge even though the alleged victim does not want to prosecute.
These situations can be very distressing for couples and require an experienced criminal defense lawyer to assist them in navigating the criminal justice system and keeping their criminal record clean.
In such situations, an affidavit of non-prosecution may be an instrumental legal document to assist your attorney with weakening the prosecution’s case against you and increase the likelihood that your case may be dismissed.
In these instances, dealing directly with the witness can be a delicate matter, and to avoid charges of witness tampering (a felony offense) you should leave this process to an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can carefully guide you through each step.
To get started with a criminal defense lawyer today, please contact us.
What is a Non-Cooperative Witness in a Criminal Case?
A non-cooperative witness is an individual who is unwilling to provide testimony in a criminal case for the prosecution. Their lack of cooperation can include evasive answers or a refusal to testify against the defendant.
In cases where a witness is crucial to the prosecution’s case, their unwillingness to cooperate can leave them with a very weak case.
The first step towards notifying the prosecution that a witness in your case is unwilling to cooperate, is hiring a criminal defense attorney who can secure and file an affidavit of non-prosecution in the court in which you are charged.
Why do I Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer to Draft and File an Affidavit of Non-Prosecution for Me?
When drafting an affidavit of non-prosecution, you have to obtain the signature of the victim for it to have any value or credibility.
However, you must be wary of not putting any words in the witness’s mouth or influencing their statement in any way.
Every single word in the document has to be exactly what the witness wants to say, otherwise, it may be seen as witness tampering.
Witness tampering is a felony offense and creates a legal minefield for someone that is not skilled in explaining the situation to a potential witness.
To add to the complexity, in many cases, the defendant trying to contact the alleged victim has a bond condition of no contact with the witness, meaning they are not allowed to have any contact with the alleged victim.
In these cases, reaching out to the alleged victim would be a violation of their bond conditions, and they may get a bond violation or a new felony charge of witness tampering if the situation is not handled properly.
For all of these reasons, it is essential to employ a criminal defense attorney to help you with this process successfully.
How Does Notarizing an Affidavit of Non-Prosecution Add Legal Credibility?
The process of notarization involves a certified notary public witnessing the signing of a legal document and in order to verify the identities of all parties involved.
Notarizing the document adds an additional layer of credibility and authenticity to the affidavit, so there can be no disputing that it is real, valid and can be held up in court.
An affidavit of non-prosecution is more effective when notarized because notarization proves that the person who signed it is who they say they are.
In most situations, the court will not even accept an affidavit that is not notarized. Affidavits that are not notarized are seen as inauthentic and will have trouble overcoming hearsay objections.
What is the Impact of an Affidavit of Non-Prosecution on the Prosecutor’s Case
An affidavit of non-prosecution has a huge impact on the prosecution’s case because it unveils whether the victim would like to cooperate in the case.
Many prosecutors are juggling a large docket of cases and until they are ready to go to trial, they don’t have the ability to communicate often with the victim.
Filing an affidavit of non-prosecution tells them in advance that this victim most likely is not going to be on their side and that they are going to have to prove this case without them.
As a prosecutor, this can make their case very challenging, since jurors do not like hearing a case where the victim doesn’t even care enough to show up to the trial.
Contact the Austin Hagee Law Firm to Start Helping with Your Criminal Case
At the Austin Hagee Law Firm, we have attorneys with years of experience as prosecutors and many different types of criminal matters.
We have been on the receiving end of an affidavit of non-prosecution, and we know what it can do to the state’s case.
We will work with you and your situation to produce the best possible result and help you secure an affidavit of non-prosecution if possible.
Retaining our firm is a smart first move if you want someone who is experienced with navigating this important process in your criminal defense case.
If you have a question about how an affidavit of non-prosecution could be relevant to your case, the Austin Hagee Law Firm offers free case evaluations.
Our legal team is ready to listen to your concerns, analyze your situation, and start building your best defense. Contact us today to get started.