Is there a way that I can avoid going to court after I was called to subpeona?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is there a way that I can avoid going to court after I was called to subpeona?

I am a college student working a part-time. I was left a voicemail about having to appear in court to witness against my boyfriend. It stated that the court case was rescheduled and that they would let me know. In the letter that was sent to my house but it doesn’t state what the case was about or my role in it. I’m very nervous and I don’t want to be involved in any of this. Do I have rights to which I don’t have to appear or is it mandatory?

Asked on August 11, 2017 under Criminal Law, California


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A subpeona is an order by the court to appear at the time and place specified. Failure to show can result in a warrant for arrest, which can include jailtime and/or fines. Therefore, you must appear. If your testimony will incriminate you in any crime, then you can refuse to answer any questions based on your 5th amendment right against self-incrimination. However, the first thing to do here is to consult directly with a criminal law attorney. You need to find out what this is all about and they can do that for you. Whatever you do, do not speak with the police even if they come to your house, as you are under no legal duty to do so. Again, getting legal representation ASAP is strongly advised.

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 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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