Is appearance in court as a witness mandatory if you receive a notice of trial?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is appearance in court as a witness mandatory if you receive a notice of trial?

I had previously received case notification letters that stated “Your appearance in court is optional unless you receive a Notice of Trial or a subpoena”. I’ve now received a notice of trial asking me to register as a witness but have not done so yet. Nothing in the letter indicates that I will be punished for failure to appear and I’m not entirely sure what the difference is between a notice of trial and a subpoena. It’s a domestic battery case involving family friends (occurred at my residence) and I don’t particularly want to be involved any further, but I don’t want to face any legal problems by not showing up either.

Asked on January 13, 2016 under Criminal Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A notice of trial obligates someone who is a party to a case to appear. A subpoena is used to obligate a non-party, such as many witnesses, to appear. If you are not a party to the case and were not subpoenaed, you should not have to appear. If you are a party (someone named in the case), you would have to show. Check the document to make sure it's not actually a subpoena: a subpoena will inform you that if you do not appear, you will be subject to punishment. If it is a subpoena, you will need to testify.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption