How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask LegalKnowledge Your Own Question
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 28361
Experience:  10+ years handling Legal, Real Estate, Criminal Law, Family Law, Traffic matters.
9540344
Type Your Legal Question Here...
LegalKnowledge is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

If I was served a subpoena to appear in court as a witness

This answer was rated:

if I was served a subpoena to appear in court as a witness and it does not have my correct last name and I did not go can I get around that
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the subpoena was issued in?
Customer: mass
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: now there is a warrant
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: is there a charge for thi advise
JA: You just pay a $5 deposit now and the rest only when you get a reply from the Criminal Lawyer. All of this is 100% satisfaction guaranteed, so you can get a refund if you're not happy for any reason.
Customer: how much

Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help with your question and concern

Good morning. What do you mean when you ask if you can get around it? How do you know a warrant was issued?

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
The DA left a message and I am now on my honeymoon

If there is a warrant, it needs to be lifted. If you were a witness and not a party to the case, it does seem odd that they would issue a warrant right away. However, a lot depends on your role in all this and how relevant you are to the case and the State needing your testimony. If the name on the subpoena was wrong and you did not think it was for you, you could explain that to the DA and/or Judge and see if they will lift the warrant. Moreover, you need to see if the hearing or trial was reset as a result of this and if they will agree to lift it when you appear. When you were served with it, you did not speak with them and failing to appear, can result in being held in contempt of court and a warrant for your arrest, so they can bring you in. If you cooperate, they should lift this when you appear.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Thank you. I am a witness but they want me to testify against my husband

You are welcome. Are you a victim in the case

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
No

You should consult with a criminal defense attorney, since there may be immunity here, which would prevent you from testifying against him.

The spousal privilege law in Massachusetts states that a spouse can not be forced by the prosecution to give testimony in a trial or other criminal hearing brought against the other spouse. The privilege is set forth in G. L. c. 233, § 20. The spousal privilege may only be claimed by the witness spouse and it does not apply to civil proceedings or in any prosecution for non-payment of support, child incest, child abuse or neglect of parental responsibilities.

In order to use the privilege you must be married to the other party that is subject to a criminal prosecution. The privilege is valid even though the spouse was not married at the time of the incident that was the reason for a criminal prosecution or trial. (See Commonwealth v. DiPietro, 373 Mass. 369, 382, 367 N.E.2d 811, 819 (1977)). However, there is no common-law privilege, like the spousal privilege, applicable to unmarried individuals living together. (See Commonwealth v. Diaz, 422 Mass. 269, 274, 661 N.E.2d 1326, 1329 (1996)).

The privilege not to give testify against your husband or wife applies despite the fact that the proposed testimony might be favorable or unfavorable to the other spouse. Commonwealth v. Maillet, 400 Mass. 572, 578, 511 N.E.2d 529, 533 (1987). Conversely, a spouse may give testimony against the other spouse if he or she is willing to do so. A defendant spouse under the circumstance has no right to prevent his or her spouse’s testimony. However, when a spouse decides to waive the privilege and testify against his or her spouse in a criminal proceeding, the judge should be satisfied, outside the presence of the jury, that the waiver of the spousal privilege is a voluntary.

In Massachusetts, the spousal disqualification, unlike the spousal privilege, bars either spouse from testifying to private conversations with the other even though both spouses wish the communication to be revealed. See Gallagher v. Goldstein, 402 Mass. 457, 459, 524 N.E.2d 53, 54 (1988). The court noted that while the contents of private oral conversations are absolutely excluded, the statute does not preclude evidence that a conversation took place. Finally, words constituting or accompanying abuse, threats, or assaults where the other spouse is the alleged victim are not regarded as private conversation for the purpose of the disqualification.

You are welcome. Please let me know if there is anything else, as I would be happy to respond. If not, please remember to rate my help at this time at the top of this page, prior to leaving, so I can receive the proper credit, for our time together. A 5 STAR rating is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

LegalKnowledge and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you