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What would happen if I failed to appear on a witness subpoena for a criminal trial

Memphis, TN |
Filed under: Criminal defense

What are they most likely to do to me if I cannot make it to a court date I have a summons as witness for. It's a misdemeanor D.V. that's 2 1/2 years old and the victim is currently incarserated for an unrelated but high profile case that is still pending trial.

Attorney Answers 2


The worst case scenario is hold you in contempt of court. This is highly unlikely but an attorney cannot advise someone not to abide by a subpoena if properly served. I would contact the Attorney who issued the subpoena and give them the reason why you cannot attend the trial.

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It is not unusual for a District Attorney to have the court issue a warrant for your arrest for failure to appear. The easiest way to handle the problem is to contact the prosecutor and tell him/her that you can be there. Most times, the prosecutor will attempt to assist a witness. If not, you have to be there or face the punishment.

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