I want to talk to you a little bit today about subpoenas. What does it mean if you’re subpoenaed to criminal court, a lot of people will get a subpoena. They’re served with a subpoena by the police are a defense counsel’s private investigator, and you’re really concerned and stressed. Well, what does it mean? Well, first of all, on a piece of paper you’re gonna get served with, you’re going to be told to attend a trial in criminal court. And your job that day and is to testify, the crown or the defense are going to call you as a witness.

And what happens is you need to attend that day. That’s the bottom line. So what does it mean? Can a person say, Oh, I’m not going to answer a subpoena? I’m not going to show up or I’m not going to testify. Well, no. What would happen is you could be arrested, the judge could issue a warrant for your arrest if you don’t show up to testify. And you could face jail time for contempt of court or you could be fined. So it’s very important to show up. And the second issue is, you have to testify. I mean, if the Crown or defence calls you there’s no Fifth Amendment right like the states. We watched a little bit too much TV I think so you’ll have to testify and tell the truth.

You’re obviously a witness to some aspect of what happened in a particular criminal charge and the Crown or defence are calling you so what happens if you don’t testify? Well, again, a contempt of court you could be thrown in jail and have a contempt hearing and but the important thing to know is, what you say, cannot be used against you in another proceeding of the criminal court. So for example, if you admit that you committed a criminal offense that can’t be used against you, but if you perjure yourself though, if you lie, that can be a perjury charge.

So it’s very important. So I would recommend if you’re if you’re served with a subpoena by defense counsel’s office, or the crown, I would reach out to them before the trial to ask them when you want when they want you attend, etc. And that your a witness and certainly they’re entitled to prepare you as a witness do so that’s pretty important. Notify your employer of course, they have to give you the time off. So that’s basically it in a nutshell. The lessons to learn from this is yes, you absolutely have to attend. And yes, you have to testify and tell the truth.

Thanks so much for joining me today. Thank you for watching our video, we are absolutely committed to bringing you the best possible criminal and DUI educational videos. If you found this video helpful, please like it and subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you’ve been charged with a criminal offence in Ontario and require our services, please click on the link in the description below.

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