Thank you for joining me today, I am going to talk about subpoenas, that’s a document that is served upon you, requiring you to testify in our Ontario Criminal court system. Now you might be a defence witness, the defence lawyer, might have had a process server serve you with a subpoena to testify their defence or you might be a Crown witness. And obviously people are not too happy in having to testify, and some people want to avoid a subpoena, not testify. So what happens if you don’t show up? You’ve been told to show up to testify on a certain date, and you say, you know what, I am going to ignore that subpoena. Well the bottom line is that you could be in a heap of trouble. On that day when you don’t show up, at the instance of the Crown attorney or the defence counsel, they are going to raise that with the judge and say “look my key witness is not here, they have been served with a subpoena, here’s an affidavit of proof of service, your Honour, I would like to have this witness brought here, and I ask that you consider arresting them.  Well that’s a pretty harsh remedy but it’s a very possible remedy, and you could be arrested. What judges would often do in that situation and there’s also police officers,  around involved in the case, will say “ look, I am not going to arrest him yet, let’s have the police go out and find them, tell them about this that I want them to be here or they are going to be arrested”.  Well that gets people woken up pretty quick. I’ve been involved in many cases, where the police go out and find the person, in the city and bring them back to court, and if they can’t find the person, ultimately, the Crown insists that the subpoena be exercised in terms a warrant for arrest, that’s going to happen, as well as defence counsel, then this person is going to be arrested and appear before the judge, and the judge is going to have to decide to release them, pending their testimony, so it’s a very difficult situation to be in. The bottom line is, with an order from the court, you have to show up on a subpoena, and if you don’t, it will really cause a lot of problems.

By Published On: August 4, 2023Last Updated: June 12, 2024Categories: General, Video

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