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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 69368
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Is it likely from a witness to be arrested if they don't

Customer Question

Is it likely from a witness to be arrested if they don't turn up to magistates court when they have been summoned?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  NishaJonesLaw replied 3 months ago.

Good afternoon, I am a Criminal Defense and Immigration Law attorney, and former Prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office. I'll be helping answer your questions today; please note I can answer your questions for informational purposes only, as we do not currently have an attorney-client relationship.

Expert:  NishaJonesLaw replied 3 months ago.

If they are just a witness in the case- not the defendant- they won't actually be arrested or penalized for failure to appear at the court date, even though they've received a subpoena.

The subpoena itself that they receive in the mail sometimes says they will be penalized if they don't appear, but in reality that never happens.

I hope that helps! Please feel free to ask me any follow-up questions. Please take a moment to rate me using the stars as this is the only way I am compensated for my time. We can still continue our conversation for free after you've rated me. Thanks!

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
A man actually delivered the summons to my house and said I could be arrested if i didn't attend? They even gave me bus fair to get there. I
He said they can issue a warrant for my arrest if I don't turn up?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 months ago.

I presume you are in the UK?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I'm in the UK
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 months ago.

ok.

They can't arrest you on a summons alone but if you don't answer it then they could seek a witness warrant and arrest you upon that.

If this is a domestic then probably they would.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 months ago.

It depens upon your history of calling the police and making reports.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 months ago.

So, in short, yes they could seek a warrant for your arrest.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
it is a domestic. A statement was made and then retracted but CPS still want to prosecute and I received my summons today. So is it likely I
will be arrested for not turning up?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 months ago.

It depends on your history doing this really.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Is it likely they do warrants for witness arrest in magistates court?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 months ago.

Well, as I said, it depends on your history of wasting their time.

They wouldn't in every case but obviously some people seem to think they can call the police to every row. They are the ones who end up on witness warrants.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I have never been summoned to court before and this is the first domestic case to be dealt with in court
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The police have been called twice but the first time it was just dismissed and this time it has gone to court
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 months ago.

OK. Does that mean you have previously called the police to family rows?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 months ago.

If there have been two previous incidents then they could seek a witness warrant.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 months ago.

maybe they will. Maybe not.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
One previous incident to this one
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I don't want to go and have told them I want nothing to do with the case but I don't want to be arrested for not attending even though I don't want to and they know this
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 months ago.

Yes, I understand.

Their policy to summons when people call them to family rows now. I realise this doesn't help much now but the only to avoid that is not to make reports to the police.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 months ago.

Whether they will seek a warrant depends really on so many variables

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
there is no guarantee I won't be arrested for just not turning up to give evidence?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 months ago.

If this is only a second report from you then that isn't anything like the worst type of accuser.

Nobody can guarantee that they would not though.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 months ago.

It is less likely than if you were a long standing accuser.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
would they just adjourn the case until they had arrested me? If that's what they were going to do? I don't want to be arrested, nor do I want to support the case