What can happen if I received a subpoena to appear in court as a witness against an acquaintance that used me to sell a stolen cell phone?

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What can happen if I received a subpoena to appear in court as a witness against an acquaintance that used me to sell a stolen cell phone?

Can I go back to and read my police statement? Could I be prosecuted after testifying? Could the defense attorney ask me personal questions not about the case?

Asked on December 9, 2014 under Criminal Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) You can't read the police statement in court unless an attorney gives it to you to read on the record. And even if an attorney does, you'd still have to answer any other relevant questions.

2) You can be prosecuted after testifying if you say anything that  provides reason to believe or evidence that you committed a crime, unless you had some sort of immunity (i.e. can't be prosecuted for what you testify) deal in place).

3) You could be asked questions not directly about the case if they are nonetheless relevant to it, such as about your cell phone plan, where you get your cell phones and what you pay for them, how you know the acquintance, whether you've done business with him before in other contexts, etc.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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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