Did you open your mailbox today and get surprised by a subpoena with your
name on it? You need to respond to it, or else you could get into big
legal trouble. Yet responding to it in the wrong way can also feasibly
stick you in a tough legal spot. What are you supposed to do?
What Even is a Subpoena?
The first thing you need to know is what a court-approved subpoena is and
why a court would issue it. In basic terms, a subpoena is a court’s
demand for someone to appear in court. Subpoenas are generally issued
for one of two reasons: the court or an attorney wants the subpoena receiver
to testify, or they want the receiver to provide documentation or another
form of evidence.
Subpoenas can also be sent to someone suspected of committing a crime and
investigators have gained court-approval to bring them in for questioning.
This is the type of subpoena that people most worry about. How are you
supposed to respond to something that is inferring you are a criminal?
If investigators do decide they have reason to believe you committed the
crime in question after you reply to their summons, then they will likely
immediately issue a warrant for your arrest while you are present in front of them.
You Need to Respond & Carefully
No matter the reason why you received a subpoena, you have to respond to
it and comply. Ignoring a subpoena or saying you do not intend to fulfil
its mandate can constitute the crime of being in contempt of court. Even
if you are never charged for another crime related to the subpoena, you
can bet the state will charge you for contempt. Protect yourself from
that consequence by responding, but do it carefully and with an attorney’s
Talk to a criminal defense attorney as soon as you receive a subpoena.
They can help you come up with an appropriate response that does not worsen
your legal situation through self-incriminating statements or other complications.
If you do not want to testify or do not want to produce the requested
documents, your lawyer can help you navigate the situation without being
found in contempt. If you are worried about what will happen when you
respond to a subpoena about your innocence, you will already have a legal
ally on your side to help you talk with investigators. People who are
completely innocent still need criminal defense attorneys since the state
does not know what to believe during investigations.
Riverside Criminal Defense Lawyers Shielding Your Rights
If you live in Riverside, Temecula, or Murrieta and receive a subpoena
in the mail, you can pick up the phone and call
951.687.6003 to connect with Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich. For years, we have
been the go-to name in criminal defense representation for people in situations
just like yours. We know the appropriate ways to respond to subpoenas,
deal with investigators to protect your innocence, and
fight for your rights in court, if need be.
Free consultations are available so schedule yours today.