Do I have to go to testify if I was subpoenaed?

UPDATED: Jan 7, 2012

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Do I have to go to testify if I was subpoenaed?

I’m the victim in a domestic case and I was subpoenaed in his case to testify. I don’t want to go. I’m afraid of what will happen to me if I do go, plus I don’t want my name out there like that. Is there any way I can get out of this? This is involving someone who has priors for the same offense. Why do they need me then? If I don’t if they will come and get me? I have a one year old to take care of.

Asked on January 7, 2012 under Criminal Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

They need you in his case because, as you write, you are a victim in the case--that is, your testimony is valuable, possibly indispensible, to the case. If you do not obey the subpoena, you will be in contempt of court and could potentially be jailed. You can certainly discuss your concerns with the prosecutor and/or the judge (you may wish to hire a lawyer to help you), but the end of the day, if subpoenaed to testify, you will have to testify.

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