I just received a subpoena to testify in court next month for a preliminary hearing. I will be out of the state so the date doesn't work. if I call and ask to have it scheduled at a later date, will they? Can I get in trouble if I don't show up or will they just drop the case against the defendant?
to add to mr. pichlik's response, (thank you by the way) if they dismiss without prejudice, who's choice is it to refile the charges? in all honestly, I don't want the defendent in any trouble (or at least not jail time), so I would choose not to. would the state automatically refile the charges?
Criminal Defense Attorney
Yes, you can, and should, contact the prosecutor and notify them that you have a prearranged trip planned that is going to take you out of state at that time. Do not call the court, the court is not going to address your concerns. Whether or not the prosecutor will reset the hearing will depend on how cooperative the defendant and his attorney and the court are willing to be; if the defense will not stipulate to an adjournment or the court won't grant the adjournment then the options get limited. 1. The prosecutor can ask for a bench warrant for you for not showing up despite having been served, (this is probably not very likely since the state doesn't want to be arresting its' own witnesses). 2. You can change your plans, and simply make yourself available. 3. The prosecution can dismiss the charges without prejudice; this would mean they would be able to refile the charges.