Although Ray Rice plays football for the Baltimore Ravens, New Jersey law will control this case since the assault occurred in an Atlantic City casino. Local Maryland prosecutors properly view domestic violence as a very serious matter. In fact, it is common for the State to proceed even if the victim is reluctant to go forward.
In Maryland, a spouse can refuse to testify, one time, based on the doctrine of spousal immunity, but no one else enjoys this privilege. In other words, Rice’s fiancée cannot “drop” the charges, should she desire to keep Rice from a possible conviction. The decision to dismiss a case rests solely in the hands of the prosecutor.
It is not unusual to for a domestic violence victim attempt to avoid testifying by ignoring a subpoena to attend trial, in the hope that the case will be dismissed. However, in such instances, the Court, at the State’s request, will often issue what is called a “Body Attachment” which allows the Sheriff or the Police to arrest the witness and have that person brought to the Courthouse.
It appears that Ray Rice faces a difficult Court battle. Of course, once that matter is concluded, he will still have to face Commissioner Gooddell, which should also cause him great concern.