Will I be arrested for failure to appear on a subpoena?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Will I be arrested for failure to appear on a subpoena?

My son is being charged with domestic assault on me because my doctor

misunderstood what I said and called the police. I told them it was a

misunderstanding and I didn’t want to press charges. However, due to my son’s

past history the State picked up the charges and have subpoenaed me as a

witness. If I do not appear, what will happen? This is district court, not superior court.

Asked on February 25, 2016 under Criminal Law, Rhode Island


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

First of all, a subpeona is an order to appear in court. Failure to comply with it can result in being held in contempt which can lead to fines and/or jailtime. And if you go but refuse to testify, you can be held in contempt of court and arrested, which can also include jail and/or fines.

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