What do I do if I can’t afford to make out of state court appearance to give a statement in a case that I was a witness in?

I am only 18 years old and still a student. I was on vacation in another state when a drunk driver crashed in front of me while I was walking.

Asked on July 24, 2015 under Accident Law, New Jersey


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A witnesses may be eligible for compensation for certain travel expenses. Ask the lawyer who subpoenaed you. Make sure you keep receipts for all of your expenses so that you can be reimbursed if appropriate. Additionally,a witness is also usually entitled for a small daily allowance.

If you have a good reason not to be a witness (i.e. it would cause undue hardship to travel to the court or you believe that don't have any relevant information relating to the case, you can ask the judge to cancel the subpoena (you can do this by calling the courthouse listed on the subpoena and explain that you want to ask a judge to cancel the subpoena; they will direct you accordingly). If the judge doesn't cancel the subpoena, then you are legally obligated to attend court on the p;ace and time specified or face possible charges of contempt.

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