Can I have a subpoena quashed since I did not personally witnessa crime?

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Can I have a subpoena quashed since I did not personally witnessa crime?

My car window was broken and my purse was stolen and my credit card was used to buy gift cards. I have since received a subpoena to be a witness for the prosecution. I was told that the State needs to prove that my card was used without my permission. I am petrified to do this. The trial has been postponed three times already as the defendant keeps firing her attorney. I know the defendant has the right to face her accuser but what are my rights besides not showing up and possibly being held in contempt?

Asked on April 2, 2011 under Criminal Law, Minnesota

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The issue here is not that you were a witness to the crime but that your credit card was taken without your permission. The facts as you have described are not sufficient to quash a subpoena or have the prosecution drop you as a witness, especially if the main issue in the crime is using your credit cards without your permission. If you have an attorney, talk to your attorney about possibly being deposed or being interviewed outside of the courtroom (perhaps by video) because of your fear. And yes, you would most certainly be held in contempt for not appearing based on a subpoena and the court may be forced to issue a bench warrant for your arrest. Bottom line, nothing good can come from not appearing. You should discuss your options and perhaps even speak with the prosecution about your fear.


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