Can a attorney get me out of a subpoena?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a attorney get me out of a subpoena?

I’ve been subpenaed for a murder case. I was questioned the month it happened, but never made a

statement, and was never told if I was being recorded. I was questioned because my vehicle was seen on camera picking up the suspect.

Asked on September 6, 2017 under Criminal Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No; there are essentially no grounds to get out of a subpoena to testify or give a deposition if there are any reasonable grounds to believe that you *might* have useful information. If your vehicle was photographed picking up a suspect, it is certainly reasonable to think you know something; therefore, you will not be able to escape the subpoena. However, you may wish to hire a lawyer anyway, if you did *anything* which could implicate you (e.g. you drove the suspect to or away fromt the crime under circumstances where a reasonable person might have concluded he was doing or would do something criminal; that could make you an accomplice). In this case, you'd want an attorney to advise you when to *not* answer a specific question (e.g. to "take the 5th" or use your right against self incrimination). 
(Note that while the right to not say anything which would incriminate yourself lets you avoid answering individual questions, you can't use it to get out of the subpoena or testifying; you have to show up and answer the specific questions with your refusal to respond and asssertion of your privilege.)

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.

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