What would happen if as the victim I got a subpoena to testify but I don’t want to?

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What would happen if as the victim I got a subpoena to testify but I don’t want to?

I have a pretrial for a domestic violence criminal offense. I was served with a subpoena to testify but because I am the victim, am I allowed to refuse to testify or am I allowed to not show up to court? If I don’t show up, what would happen?

Asked on May 17, 2019 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

A subpeona is a court order. Failure to comply with it (i.e. not showing up) will subject you to fines and/or possibly jail time. Further, if you do not testify, you can face the same penalties. Botton line, you must show up and you must tell the truth.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, being the victim does not entitle you not testify if subpoenaed. If you don't testify, you could held in contempt of court and potentially fined and possibly even jailed. And/or the criminal case against your attack may be dismissed due to lack of evidence, if your testimony is critical.


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