Verbal subpoena...? Do I have to appear?
I've been avoiding being served a subpoena as a witness for the DA in a case against my boyfriend accused of 5 counts of bank robbery. The prelim is tomorrow. The detectives came to my door today and verbally told me I have to be in court in the morning. However I was NEVER given a subpoena. Just verbal. Can I get out of this?
A verbal subpoena does not exist in the law. If the prosecutor wants you there you should have been served with something in writing that is a court Order. Besides, it isn't the police who decide who should appear--it's the prosecutor.
Any subpeona is an order from a judge and yes, you better go or they can put a bench warrant out for your arrest as you will be in contempt of court.
My understanding is that a subpoena must be in writing, there is no such thing as a verbal subpoena. If the DA prosecuting your case needs your testimony then he should have requested it in writing. Generally in legal issues if it ain;t in writing than it ain't official. But this could vary depending on the state.
I would consult a criminal attorney on the phone regarding this if I were you. It sounds to me as if the detectives are more manipulating you into the court, they should not have told you, they should have given you the written order if there is one.