Witness Instructions

Overview

You have been subpoenaed as a witness. You will help in the administration of criminal justice by performing your duties as a witness. Your attendance at court is required by law so that both the accused and the prosecution have a fair and impartial trial.

The process of justice takes time, so your patience and commitment are also essential. Appearing as a witness is a duty which you can meet knowing you are making a valuable contribution to your community. Because we understand that an appearance in court may cause you some inconvenience we sincerely appreciate your cooperation and assistance.


Conflicts and Changes
If the date and time for appearance falls within your vacation period or you have some other conflict, please let us know immediately. We cannot always adjust the court calendars but if we know in adequate time, we may be able to change the date of the trial to a more convenient date.

Remember, it's very important to keep our office informed of your current address and phone number so you can be contacted about a pending case. If you move, or are temporarily available at a new location or phone, please notify our office immediately.

Going to Trial

A subpoena is not a request; it is a court order telling you to be present at the time and place stated. Many other witnesses have been subpoenaed in this and other cases. Because unforeseeable problems can arise, all inconvenience for witnesses cannot be avoided. Cases are frequently continued and there are many reasons for this; for example there may be no courtrooms available, or other witnesses necessary to your case may not be available.

In most cases we know a few days ahead of time whether this case is one that will go to trial. If you have any questions about when or if you will be called, contact the District Attorney's office at the number shown on your subpoena between 8:00 am and 12:00 noon or 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm.


Reimbursement

As a witness you may be entitled to witness fees and mileage for your appearance in court. The payment of such fees however, is at the discretion of the court. It is the policy of the courts in this county not to pay witness fees except in hardship situations, or where travel for long distance is required.

For further information about witness fees, contact the witness coordinator in the District Attorney's office on the day of your appearance in court.