Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

Subpoena questions

My girlfriend and I have been subpoena'd to appear before the Superior Court in a Jury Trial against her Uncle. Some unfortunate events caused us to get involved and we reluctantly had to call the cops on him. He has a lengthy criminal record and the District Attorney wants to put him in prison even though we did not press charges. She does not want to see him go to prison and neither do I. We are both very young and can not afford a private lawyer to help us, so please give me any advice. On with the questions...

The subpoenas were left on our front door by our landlord(same mailing address) Can we legally ignore the subpoena because of this? The defendant's lawyer called and said that unless something was given to us in person we are not legally bound to the subpoena.

If I call the District Attorney does that imply to the court that my subpoena was received properly?

Any other advice that may help us get un-involved in the case would be greatly appreciated

Asked on 7/06/03, 12:45 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Lyle Johnson Bedi and Johnson Attorneys at Law

Re: Subpoena questions

Individuals do not press criminal charges. The people of the state of California press the charges. Once the police become involved they make a decision as to whether to contact the district attorney. If the district attorney is contacted that office decides whether or not to file a criminal complaint.

You do not need an attorney unless you believe that you may have committed a crimejor may somehow be involved in criminal conduct. If you have a question then notify the district attorney that you will be requesting an attorney be appointed to advise you in this matter. Then be sure to tell the judge that you feel that you need an attorney to advise you regarding your testimony.

When testifying it is important that you listen carefully to the question. Then make sure that you understand the question. Then answer the question, and as a general rule do not elaborate. Answer each question with yes or no if possible. Never guess about an answer.

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Answered on 7/07/03, 1:30 am

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