Are there other ways around testifying if I don’t want to testify?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Are there other ways around testifying if I don’t want to testify?

I was subpoenaed and don’t want to testify against my ex-boyfriend. How do I get out of it?

Asked on May 7, 2019 under Criminal Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Basically, you can't. A subpeona is a court order to appear. If you ignore it, you can be fined and even possibly face jail time. You could try and possibly invoke your right against self-incrimination (e.g. "plead the 5th") but can only do so if you think that your testimony will implicate you in the crime for which your ex is being tried or any other crime. Otherwise, you must take the stand and truthfully testify.

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