Is there a way that I can avoid going to court after I was called to subpeona?

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Is there a way that I can avoid going to court after I was called to subpeona?

I am a college student working a part-time. I was left a voicemail about having to appear in court to witness against my boyfriend. It stated that the court case was rescheduled and that they would let me know. In the letter that was sent to my house but it doesn’t state what the case was about or my role in it. I’m very nervous and I don’t want to be involved in any of this. Do I have rights to which I don’t have to appear or is it mandatory?

Asked on August 11, 2017 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A subpeona is an order by the court to appear at the time and place specified. Failure to show can result in a warrant for arrest, which can include jailtime and/or fines. Therefore, you must appear. If your testimony will incriminate you in any crime, then you can refuse to answer any questions based on your 5th amendment right against self-incrimination. However, the first thing to do here is to consult directly with a criminal law attorney. You need to find out what this is all about and they can do that for you. Whatever you do, do not speak with the police even if they come to your house, as you are under no legal duty to do so. Again, getting legal representation ASAP is strongly advised.


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