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Any cases in which a bench warrant was issued for a witness for the DA's office not showing up. Serving details etc..

Westfield, MA |

Subpoena of witnesses, mostly the rules of serving a witness. A judge issued a bench warrant for me not showing up as a witness for the DA's office, but I was not served personality they gave it to the person that answered the door and I no longer live there. are there any cases that state wether the judge could not have given me a bench warrant based on the fact that i was not served the right way? or any procedures or precedents that state that bench warrants can only be given if the subpoena was served by hand or anything of that sort? Thank you.

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Attorney answers 2


If the judge issued a bench warrant and it was sent to the last and usual place you lived and served in hand, but to someone other than you then there is some ambiguity as to whether there is affective service. However, do you really want an outstanding bench warrant hanging out there. What are you more concerned about, testifying or being held in contempt of court and possibly being arrested? Once you make that decision the rest falls into place. Good luck and take care.


Mass.R.Crim.P. Rule 6(c)(3): A summons shall be served upon a defendant by delivering
a copy to him personally, or by leaving it at his dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein, or by mailing it to the defendant’s last known address.

Regardless of whether or not you were properly served the subpoena, the fact is that there is an active warrant for your arrest. The police officer who arrests you will not care about any legal argument from you that the warrant never should have been issued because you were not served in hand with the subpoena. That police officer will slap on the cuffs and tell you to tell it to the judge, and if the arrest occurs over the weekend, you can look forward to spending some time in lockup until Monday.

The better avenue is to go into court of your own volition and remove the warrant, with a lawyer to advocate on your behalf if necessary.

This reply is intended for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader. Attorney Dominic L. Pang is a Massachusetts licensed attorney and the information in this response is meant to apply to Massachusetts law only. The answer to this question should not be used as a substitute for personalized legal advice.