WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN SERVED WITH A SUBPOENA? DON’T IGNORE IT!
There are two types of subpoenas that you can be served with. One requires your presence in court to provide testimony. The other requires that you provide written materials, documentation, or some other sort of documentary information. A subpoena is a legal document and it is no irony that the meaning of the word itself is “under penalty.” If you choose to ignore the subpoena and hope that it “goes away” you run the risk of being held in criminal contempt by a court. In other words, not complying with a subpoena is a criminal matter with legal penalties. The Court can make a summary finding (meaning you are not entitled to a trial or hearing) and sentence you to six months in jail/ $300 fine.
What if providing testimony will implicate you in some way? Or perhaps the subpoena requires disclosure of records that you feel should be protected? There are certain privileges that protect you in those instances. You have a privilege against self-incrimination for example. Records can also have a privilege (medical records for example). Or perhaps you are a victim of a crime and feel concerned about being subpoenaed and appearing in court.
The best course of action is to consult with an attorney to evaluate whether your compliance with a subpoena will harm you in some way. The attorneys at West, Longenbaugh and Zickerman can assist you in making sure that your concerns and rights are protected.