If I have not been subpoenaed, mustI testify in a court case?

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If I have not been subpoenaed, mustI testify in a court case?

I was an underwriter for a mortgage company that has case being brought against them. The FBI wants me to testify against the company, but I don’t want to. I live in SC and the case/trial is being held in KY. The date of the trial is on my anniversary and is 1week after we are expecting the birth of our first child. I don’t want to go to KY and I don’t want to testify. There hasn’t been a subpoena issued as far as I know. The FBI is hounding me with phone calls about getting back to them, but I’ve ignored them. What are my options?

Asked on December 9, 2010 under Criminal Law, South Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, if you have not been subpoenaed there is no legal requirement that you appear.  However, the government can easily obtain a subpoena.  If they do, you are legally required to do whatever is requested in the subpoena; in your case, to appear and testify in court. Failure to comply with a subpoena is a criminal matter for which there are penalties, including fines and jail time.


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