Oftentimes, individuals who are a witness in a criminal case may find themselves being personally served to appear in court. Many make the false assumption that because they are not directly involved in the case, they can simply ignore the order to appear. This would not be wise.
Failure to respond to a subpoena in California is punishable by sanctions, contempt of court and even jail time. Once the DA or entity who issued the subpoena declares an individual is not present, the judge will ask for Proof of Service. Once that occurs, the court issues a “body attachment,” which is similar to a warrant for a person’s arrest. This means a NO BAIL WARRANT will be issued and the witness can be jailed if picked up by law enforcement, and may be required to spend time in custody until the conclusion of the case.
A no show witness who has a clean criminal history will now have to contend with the dark cloud of a criminal record, which includes inclusion in a database where it can stay forever.
If you are issued a subpoena or notice to appear by a court in California, always take it seriously and do not ignore it! Doing so can have adverse consequences for you and your family.
If you have any questions about subpoenas or other criminal matters, contact our law office for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL consultation.