Do I need a lawyer present if I been served a subpeona?

Asked on January 31, 2013 under Criminal Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If there is ANY chance that your testimony will either implicate yourself or another (since if you give testimony implicating another person and that person believes it false, it's not impossible he/she could seek to take legal action against you) then you want to at least consult with an attorney ahead of time, about the case and your testimony, to understand your exposure. You may also want to have the lawyer present with you when you testify, so he/she can object to any improper questions.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you have been served with a subpoena in the criminal matter that you have written about to attend trial and give testimony, you do not need to have a criminal defense attorney in attendance. However, if you have concerns as to you incriminating yourself at trial based upon answers to questions that could be submitted, it is wise for you to have your own attorney attending the hearing to protect your interests.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.