What happens if a minor ignores a subpeona?

My 20 year old son was served the subpeona, is that valid? My child was a witness of a burglary. Somehow, the police got my child’s name and questioned her. Now we have received a subpeona to appear because the case is going to trial. I don’t want my child to testify at all. What are my child’s rights as a minor? What will be the consequences, for not appearing, towards my child or myself?

Asked on May 31, 2012 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your child, although not of drinking age (21), will be considered an Adult in the eyes of the court at age 20. A subpoena is a legal court document which orders your child to appear in court on the given date and testify on behalf of the requesting party. A failure to comply or appear in court on a subpoena can result in a contempt hearing by the Judge, or in some cases, the prosecution can issue an arrest warrant for failing to appear if ordered by the Judge. If you have concerns about your son testifying, contact the issuing party and address your concerns with them. It may be a situation where your daughter may not necessarily be a material witness and may not be needed to take the stand at all. 


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