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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20233
Experience:  Handling criminal and probation matters for over 14 years.
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I have been subpoenaed to testify in two criminal cases (identity theft) because my purse

Resolved Question:

I have been subpoenaed to testify in two criminal cases (identity theft) because my purse was stolen out of my car. I have received 5 subpoenas for one trial as it has been postponed as many times. The other has been postponed twice so far. Do I have any rights as a victim not to testify as I am petrified or are the rights negated by the subpoenas? What is a 'speedy trial' and how many years do I need to deal with this before it is over? Can I give a written testimony instead of being present in court?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for using JustAnswer!

I am sorry to learn of your circumstances. Please clarify: is the defendant currently in jail?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am not certain but assuming so--there are actually two different defendants.
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 5 years ago.
When you have gone to court in the past, have you seen either one in handcuffs or jail clothes?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The problem is that I have yet to be to court for either of them. The purse was stolen on January 3, 2010 and I have not been to court yet.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Do you need additional information? I need to leave for a while.

Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 5 years ago.
Okay, very well. I am happy to answer each of your questions.

With respect to speedy trial, what the law requires is that if the defendant remains in jail on bond, s/he must have their trial within 180 days or be released on bond. From the facts that you've described, there are not any speedy trial implications.

As for the subpoena, as a general matter, if you do not appear in person, all charges will be dismissed.

Separately, a subpoena is a court order to appear. If you do not appear, a warrant can be issued for your arrest (for contempt for failure to follow a court order).

Additionally, the defendant has a constitutional right to confront their witnesses at any trial. This is why your personal appearance is necessary and you cannot simply present a written statement.

How much longer will this case go on? I do not know. I do not that the defendants are betting that you won't show up to court and they will walk with dismissed charges -- frequently, that's why there are so many adjournments.

It has been my pleasure to assist you today with your information needs. If you have a follow-up question, please reply and ask it.

If you are satisfied that your question has been answered, kindly select the ACCEPT button to close this thread and so that I receive credit for assisting you today.
JB Umphrey and 5 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I already hit the accept button on the other page along with my satisfaction rating.
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 5 years ago.
Great. Thank you very much! Have a good day.