Tonkawa, OK asked in Criminal Law for Oklahoma

Q: If I am served with a subpoena on a criminal case and fear for the safety of my child if i testify be undue burden?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Tracy Tiernan
Tracy Tiernan
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Licensed in Oklahoma

A: Criminal subpoenas go out every day across the state of to a variety of witnesses and victims.

One of the most commonly complained of phenomenons by District Attorney and Prosecutor’s offices is when these necessary parties fail to appear at court after having been subpoenaed. As a result many cases are dismissed for “failure of prosecuting witnesses to cooperate.”

The truth is that many times, the manner in which the government sends out subpoenas or attempt to serve the law subpoenas is not quite up to par. There are certain rules, codified by statute, that set out the required methods to properly and legally serve a subpoena that is requesting someone’s physical presence in a In a pending court matter.

As a general rule, they must be served in a specific manner, by specific people, or by utilizing a very specific mailing method involving certified mail, restricted delivery. The problem is that in most instances these rules are not only a hassle, the property service of subpoenas can be quite expensive and time consuming.

As a result, MANY subpoenas are served by regular mail and MANY times they are simply ignored without too much risk of any consequences. For instance, if someone happens to be the victim in a criminal case and disobeys a subpoena, whether it was properly served or improperly served, most prosecutors simply refuse to charge and arrest these alleged crime victims for “failure to obey a subpoena,” which is a misdemeanor crime. It would likely have a chilling effect on victims coming forward to report crimes if they were routinely arrested for not following through with prosecution.

This is just general information and I have no idea the specific of your case. You need to contact a licensed criminal defense attorney. Best of luck!

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.