If a lawyer orders a subpoena and not the court do I have to go?

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If a lawyer orders a subpoena and not the court do I have to go?

A friend is in trouble and has court. I told him I
would not testify so he had a lawyer send a
subpoena. I read if a lawyer sends it it is non
formal do I have to go then?

Asked on February 21, 2017 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In most instances, a subpoena can be issued and signed by an attorney on behalf of a court in which the attorney is authorized to practice law. Therefore, it is as official as if a court had had issued it (i.e. it is not "informal"). In fact the term "subpoena" means "under penalty". A person who receives a subpoena but does not comply with it may be subject to civil and/or criminal penalties such as fines, jail, or both.


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