If I received a subpoena in the mail and don’t show will I get in trouble? 5 Answers as of October 27, 2014

I'm involved in a domestic violence case but do not want to press charges and want them dropped. How can we get out of this and will I get in trouble if I don't show up for court?

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
Generally speaking, subpoenas, signed by the court, are court-orders to perform a certain act; i.e., an act such as appearing and testifying at a hearing or trial. Failing to comply with a court-order may result in criminal, contempt-of-court proceedings. "Contempt of Court" is a legally separate type of legal proceeding from civil or criminal litigation; however, punishment for being found to be in criminal, contempt of court may result in jail time, fines, costs, or other sanctions. Generally speaking, if the subpoena is signed the court and a witness fails to appear, the court may authorize a bench-warrant to arrest the witness. If a warrant is requested, it means the court is charging the witness with criminal, contempt of court for disobeying a court-order by failing to appear. Further, the court may also order a bond for the absconding witness. However, in some situations, they will not even offer a bond, meaning the witness could not get out of jail until they were brought before the judge to answer the contempt of court charge. Courts and prosecutors do not necessarily like to forcibly drag reluctant and potentially uncooperative witnesses into court; however, it is well within their powers to do so. Disobeying a court-order to appear carries significant risks. Ultimately, it depends on the court and the alleged circumstances. If you need specific legal advice for your particular circumstances, I encourage you to privately consult with a lawyer. If you are charged with an offense and cannot afford to pay for your own defense, the court may appoint you an attorney payable at the public's expense. You have a right to counsel.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/27/2014
Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
You could be held in contempt of court and a warrant issued. Domestic violence is a serious matter, and you being the victim is for your protection. The police were called, I assume, and witnessed violence. They generally are the complainant.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/23/2014
Elhart & Horvath, P.C.
Elhart & Horvath, P.C. | Mattias Johnson
You will get in trouble if you do not show up to court, you can be held in contempt and either fined or given jail time. If you initiated the charges, you can talk to the prosecutor about wanting to have them dropped but there is no guarantee.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/23/2014
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
Yes, you can be charged and jailed for contempt. See an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/23/2014
Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
Yes, you would be in big trouble for contempt of court and could go to jail. You can always ask the prosecutor to drop the charges but just remember that it's the prosecutor's decision, not yours.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/23/2014
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