Criminal Attorneys Aren't Just for Criminals

What You Need to Know About DWI Case Subpoenas

by Eva Holmes

Whether you have a friend charged with a DWI or are fighting charges of domestic assault, you may receive a subpoena requiring you to come to court to testify or provide evidence. Some people think they can get away with refusing to testify or by ignoring the subpoena, but is that advisable? Read on to learn more about subpoenas.

First Things First: What Is a Subpoena?

A subpoena is an order from the court that requires you to come in and testify in court. In some cases, you may be required to bring a piece of evidence. This could also include bringing a document or a minor child to the court.

For example, consider the case of a DWI. You might have a loved one who left your home after a night of fun, only to be pulled over on suspicion of a DWI after the fact. You could be subpoenaed to testify about your friend's case.

In this hypothetical situation, you could have mixed feelings about testifying in your friend's case. After all, you might have seen that they were intoxicated when they left your home, and you might worry that it puts you in jeopardy. So what would you do?

What Happens If You Fail to Comply?

If you do not comply with a subpoena, you are putting yourself at risk for jail time and monetary fines. A subpoena is a court order, and a judge has issued it for a reason. You could face steep fines and face an arrest warrant. If you fail to show up, the court can keep you in jail until the time at which you are required to testify in court or present the evidence.

If you believe you should not have to comply with the subpoena, you may hire an attorney to file a motion to quash it. You could be excused from testifying for a few reasons. For instance, the evidence could be incriminating against you, or the information involved could be privileged. You may also be off the hook if the subpoena was too broad or was not served to you in accordance with the law.

What Should You Do?

You should seek legal help when you receive a subpoena. If you are facing charges of a DWI or are called to testify regarding a DWI case, speaking with a DWI attorney is a smart idea since they are skilled and experienced in this area. They could further advise you on how to respond to a subpoena.