Subpoena me and my friend witnessed an car accident and now called in court

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Subpoena me and my friend witnessed an car accident and now called in court

This is reference to a night car accident. The dude was heavily drunk and my friend and I witnessed the whole accident so we called the police. They got the guy and now we are summoned to court tomorrow morning. However,my friend is very ill and just got back from the hospital. Even though she is very ill, does she have to go? We both went to court before but the victum did not come so the case was pushed forward. My friend is in no condition to go to court, however she is frightened that she will get into trouble if she doesn’t go. Does she have to go. The courts were closed early so we couldn’t call in time to ask.

Asked on January 2, 2017 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

First thing in the morning tomorrow, your friend should call the court and explain the situation; she should then follow up (if they request it, which they probably will) with a fax and/or email scan and/or letter (whatever the court wants) containing some proof of her illness or hospitalization--discharge papers would do nicely. The courts tend to be surprisingly sympathetic and understanding of illness-related absences, so long as you can prove it on request. The court will likely reschedule without any penalty to your friend.


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