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What happens if I've been dodging getting subpoena to testify against my boyfriend? Will he just be released?

Oakland, CA |

I did make a statement but I was very intoxicated at the time and don't remember what I told them and I just want him to come home I recently found out I'm pregnant. We did get In a big fight, I started most of it.

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Attorney answers 1

Posted

If you receive a subpoena, you should obey it, show up, and testify with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If you don't receive a subpoena, you don't have to do anything. Whether your boyfriend will be released if you do not receive a subpoena and testify is not possible for anyone to know in advance.

You might want to consult a criminal defense attorney about this. One who knows all the facts could have a very different and much more insigtful answer to your questions.

Good luck to you.

Markus Dombois

Markus Dombois

Posted

Like Mr. Paul said, you need to obey the subpoena, or be faced with contempt of court. I have even dealt with prosecutors who will have a victim arrested and taken to jail for not showing up on a subpoena. However, have a look at this code section, especially subsection (b). And then find a lawyer who understands this in context of domestic violence law. Finally, often they don't need the victim to prosecute a domestic violence case in CA. It depends on what other evidence they have. 1219. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), when the contempt consists of the omission to perform an act which is yet in the power of the person to perform, he or she may be imprisoned until he or she has performed it, and in that case the act shall be specified in the warrant of commitment. (b) Notwithstanding any other law, no court may imprison or otherwise confine or place in custody the victim of a sexual assault or domestic violence crime for contempt when the contempt consists of refusing to testify concerning that sexual assault or domestic violence crime. Before finding a victim of a domestic violence crime in contempt as described in this section, the court may refer the victim for consultation with a domestic violence counselor. All communications between the victim and the domestic violence counselor that occur as a result of that referral shall remain confidential under Section 1037.2 of the Evidence Code. (c) As used in this section, the following terms have the following meanings: (1) "Sexual assault" means any act made punishable by Section 261, 262, 264.1, 285, 286, 288, 288a, or 289 of the Penal Code. (2) "Domestic violence" means "domestic violence" as defined in Section 6211 of the Family Code. (3) "Domestic violence counselor" means "domestic violence counselor" as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1037.1 of the Evidence Code.

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