What happens if you ignore a subpoena?
I have been subpoenaed in a trial as a witnesses and I really don't want to go. If I don't show up is it criminal contempt or civil contempt?
A subpoena is a direct order from the court to appear at a certain date and time. If you fail to appear when requested, a bench warrant for your arrest may be issued for contempt of court. Accordingly, you could be jailed or fined.
Note: A witness can "plead the 5th" (i.e. invoke their “privilege against self-incrimination”) but only if their testimony would implicate them in some way in the crime. So unless your testimony can get you personally in trouble, you have to testify.
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