What are a minor’s rights if they are subpoenaed to testify in court?

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What are a minor’s rights if they are subpoenaed to testify in court?

My 11 year old daughter saw a boy pick up a bike and ride off. He stole it. The poliece asked what she saw. Now they want her to testify in fromt of the defendant. Is this allowed? What is my recourse if the (unstable boy) comes after her?

Asked on September 29, 2010 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I would seek out counsel in your area to protect the rights of your daughter in this matter.  The "problem" with this scenario is that a person who is accused of a crime has the right to fact their accuser and the witnesses to the occurrence in the trial.  It is without a doubt a fundamental right in a criminal proceeding.  So there is here a delicate balancing of rights to be taken in to account.  What a attorney can do is to help insure that your daughter is protected, especially her right to be safe in light of the comment here that the boy is "unstable."  She can not just not appear.  They could issue a warrant for her arrest.  So get some help.  Good luck. 


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