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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4827
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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My son gave a ride to an acquaintance. This guy then assaulted

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My son gave a ride to an acquaintance. This guy then assaulted and attempted to rob him. The police happened upon the situation and the guy was arrested. Today, my son was served with a subpoena to appear as a witness for the state tomorrow at 8:30 am. The defendant has gang affiliation and ties, and my son is scared to death to testify against him. Does he have to show up and does he have to testify? He is very despondent right now.

TexLawyer :

Good evening. I'll be assisting you with your question.

TexLawyer :

To answer your question directly, yes, he has to show up. A subpoena is a form of "compulsory process," meaning he is compelled by the court to show up. If he doesn't, then the judge can send a police officer to "attach" him, or take him into custody and bring him to court.

TexLawyer :

That said, there may be several things he can do.

Customer:

ok

TexLawyer :

First off, he needs to speak to the DA in the morning and find out when his testimony will actually be needed. It's likely that he won't actually have to testify tomorrow.

Customer:

ok

TexLawyer :

Second, he needs to share these concerns with the DA. That may inspire the DA to negotiate a deal with the defendant. The DA probably does not want to put a reluctant witness on the stand.

Customer:

That makes sense! So, show up, talk to the DA, express his concerns?

TexLawyer :

But, ultimately, much of that is left up to the DA. The important thing for your son is that he shows up tomorrow. If he's been properly served with a subpoena, he has a legal obligation to appear.

TexLawyer :

At this point, his best friend is the DA because the DA holds most of the cards.

TexLawyer :

The DA decides what to take to trial and how to use his witnesses.

Customer:

That helps immensely!!! He is very afraid of what this guy and/or his friends may do.

Customer:

Thank you so much for your help!

TexLawyer :

He need to express that to the DA.

TexLawyer :

If it makes you feel any better, in my experience, gangs rarely retaliate against witnesses. They aren't as loyal to each other as one may think.

Customer:

I am sure this is not the first time this has happened. Ok. that is interesting, too. This particular guy was out on parole when this happened and is facing 15 years I guess for a violation?

TexLawyer :

That is certainly possible.

Customer:

The police officer told my son that this guy was on parole and also had a warrant out on him.. He said my son would not have to testify which is why we were surprised to have a subpoena delivered today.

Customer:

Can they legally subpoena someone less than 24 hours before the court date?

TexLawyer :

The police officer was probably just playing the odds. Most cases never go to trial, so there is no need for witnesses. Even though he is subpoenaed for tomorrow, it still may not. Many cases plead just before trial. 24 hours is sufficient notice. I've seen witnesses subpoenaed just minutes before trial, or even in the middle of the trial itself.

Customer:

Ok, well, thank you SO much! You have helped a lot!!!!

TexLawyer :

Glad to help.

TexLawyer :

Can I do anything else for you?

Chris T., JD and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Hi, Betsy. I just wanted to follow up with you and see how things went with the trial and if your son was needed to testify. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Everything worked out. My son explained his fear to the DA and they ended up not calling him to testify. The defendant was given time for fleeing the police and that was subjected to time served.

I'm glad things worked out.