People sometimes believe that they have very little to offer in a case and wonder why they have been subpoenaed. Court cases are governed by rather strict rules of evidence and procedure. Physical evidence and the testimony of witnesses are all pieces of a puzzle. All of the pieces, no matter how small, are important to complete the picture. Your testimony is important and may ultimately affect the outcome of the case.
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Immediately contact the District Attorney's Witness Notification Unit at 916-543-8016 and provide them with a telephone number where you can be reached for updates on court scheduling and location. Court cases may be cancelled, delayed, or continued, and it is important for Witness Notification to be able to contact you to avoid unnecessary appearances. If you fail to provide Witness Notification with updated contact numbers, you may be required to attend multiple court appearances and be ordered back to court.
Note: You must call in each time you receive a new subpoena to confirm receipt of the updated information.
Failure to appear in response to a subpoena may result in the Court issuing a warrant for your arrest, and may be punishable by fines and/or jail. The Courts do not look kindly at having to reschedule cases and inconveniencing all of the involved parties and other witness because of the failure of a witness to appear as ordered.
Rules of evidence and fair trial procedures require that an accused person must have an opportunity, through his or her attorney, to ask questions of witnesses.
Either the prosecution or the defense may subpoena you because your testimony is important to one or both parties. When you appear and testify truthfully you are not "taking sides" with either the prosecution or the defense, regardless of which party issues the subpoena.
It is very natural for you to be nervous. The fact is, everybody in the courtroom is nervous to one degree or another. Provided are some tips that will help you to control your nervousness and make your testimony clearer to the Court and jury.