Do I have to testify if subpoenaed by a prosecutor in Texas? 2 Answers as of February 02, 2011

My common law wife was arrested for family violence’s did not press charges. The prosecutor is trying to force me to testify. Do I have to? The prosecutor has subpoenaed me. Is there any way around testifying like pleading the 5th?

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Okay, you if you have been served with the subpoena (it does not count if they just say you have to appear, they have to serve you with the subpoena) then you have to attend the hearing. Have your common-law wife's attorney call a friend to stand in for you, meet that attorney the morning of, that attorney will appear (there may some cost involved, but trust me, well worth it). When you are called to testify (and for the record, do not speak to the prosecutor, when they ask you questions, just tell them you do not want to talk to them. They can force you to appear for trial, but they cannot force you to talk to them before you take the stand.

When you do take the stand, you will be asked questions, answer them until your attorney objects and asserts the 5th amendment. (The DA will take the position that you either made a false report on the night in question which is a crime or you are lying now which is perjury and also a crime - so you have an absolute right to assert the 5th). Your attorney will know when to stop the process and negotiate immunity (the DA will have to choose, immunity to you so you can testify or drop charges against your wife - it is a mistake for the prosecutor to give immunity because once you have it you cannot be charged with perjury - simply recant your story from the night in question. Your attorney will advise you more fully.

Again, it may cost you an hour or two of attorney time - but it is cheaper than the fine and probation cost for your wife.

Hope that helps and if this is taking place in Collin County, Texas, please consider my office for the representation.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 2/2/2011
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