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  1. #1
    poohbear30189 is offline Junior Member
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    My son has been subpoenaed to go to court to testify against his friend

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Georgia

    My son is 14 and has been given a subpoena to testify against his friend in court....does he have to go. I have been told different stories. My son was just a witness in the event.
  2. #2
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by poohbear30189 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Georgia

    My son is 14 and has been given a subpoena to testify against his friend in court....does he have to go. I have been told different stories. My son was just a witness in the event.
    It is a subpoena. If he does not show, he can expect a warrant to be put out for HIS arrest. A subpoena is a COURT ORDER that he is to be there. The fun part is when a witness who has not been subpoenaed doesn't show and the attorney gets to request that they receive a police escort to the courthouse -- as in, in the backseat of a cruiser and sometimes with pretty little bracelets. If they cannot be found in time for the hearing, then a warrant goes out.

    So decide if you want your son arrested or not.Personally I wouldn't want my child arrested but apparently you don't want him to testify (obey the subpoena).
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  3. #3
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by poohbear30189 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Georgia

    My son is 14 and has been given a subpoena to testify against his friend in court....does he have to go. I have been told different stories. My son was just a witness in the event.
    So... why should he not testify to what he witnessed (presumably criminal activity)? Grab him by the ear and drag him to court.
  4. #4
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by poohbear30189 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Georgia

    My son is 14 and has been given a subpoena to testify against his friend in court....does he have to go. I have been told different stories. My son was just a witness in the event.
    Our legal system only works when decent people do the right thing. Unless his testimony might implicate him in some criminal act, he has a civic responsibility - and a legal one - to respond and to testify.

    As others have mentioned, he might be arrested if he fails to show and to testify as requested. If you have also been served (in some states the parents are also served and ordered to produce the minor) then YOU may face sanctions as well.

    If you want to keep him from testifying than you hire an attorney, give him a real good argument as to why testifying would be a dangerous proposition for him (a claim of, "He's my friend," will not cut it), and the attorney can seek to quash the subpoena if he or she can.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

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    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
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    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
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    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Unless his words might tend to incriminate him in a crime, the judge can order him to answer any questions put to him.

    No, they generally do not close a courtroom for witness testimony even if the witness is a minor. Only if there is some compelling reason to fear for the safety of the witness would such a thing even be considered.

    However, if this is a juvenile court matter, then the trial is likely not open to the general public to begin with.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  6. #6
    disneykid52 is offline Member
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    Can the person who subpoenad him prove he knows something? Whats to stop him from saying " i dont know anything" ? Prove he knows something. Produce the proof.
  7. #7
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by disneykid52 View Post
    Can the person who subpoenad him prove he knows something? Whats to stop him from saying " i dont know anything" ? Prove he knows something. Produce the proof.
    If he has been subpoenaed, chances are he provided some statement to the police or others that indicated he saw something. To suddenly say, "Duh ..." is a quick way to get held in contempt.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  8. #8
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tryingtowin View Post
    Yea, "I don't remember"; no wait, "I was drunk that day"; no, wait "Well, I'm an idiot"...all excellent excuses lol ... contempt for a 14 yr old? Sitting in the corner of the courtroom?
    Courts rarely have a sense of humor. And attorneys - particularly prosecutors - do not typically issue a subpoena for a witness unless they have some idea what the witness has to say.

    And, yes, a 14-year-old CAN be sanctioned. That CAN include time in custody.

    I have been ordered to take minors into custody in the courtroom and transport them to juvenile hall when they pulled crud like that, so, it does happen.

    The best option for mom and junior is to hire an attorney to attempt to quash the subpoena with cause. Hopefully they will consider the possibility that they might one day be victims of a crime and had best hope that a witness to that case does not decide to do what they want to do. When people refuse to participate, the system falls apart and anarchy reins. We can either all participate, or, don't complain when crime runs rampant. If you stand silent, then the criminal wins.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  9. #9
    CJane is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tryingtowin View Post
    Yea, "I don't remember"; no wait, "I was drunk that day"; no, wait "Well, I'm an idiot"...all excellent excuses lol ... contempt for a 14 yr old? Sitting in the corner of the courtroom?
    So you're suggesting that he should lie under oath?
  10. #10
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tryingtowin View Post
    Yea, "I don't remember"; no wait, "I was drunk that day"; no, wait "Well, I'm an idiot"...all excellent excuses lol ... contempt for a 14 yr old? Sitting in the corner of the courtroom?
    Contempt could find him sentenced to juvenile detention, paying fines, performing community service, house arrest or various other things -- all accompanied by a juvenile record. I have noticed that you are clueless -- please quit posting.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  11. #11
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    I am appalled that supposed adults would actually encourage OP to tell her kid to play dumb and not tell what he witnessed.
  12. #12
    disneykid52 is offline Member
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    I'll say it again. Show proof that the kid does in fact know something.
  13. #13
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by disneykid52 View Post
    I'll say it again. Show proof that the kid does in fact know something.
    The prosecution or the defense do not have to prove the witness knows anything at all! It does not work that way.

    If the child's parent hires an attorney that seeks to quash the subpoena they will present a reason as to why, and the requesting attorney may have to argue why the witness is important. It is rare that a court will dismiss a witness under subpoena without some compelling cause. Not wanting to testify is NOT sufficiently compelling.

    And unless the requesting attorney is an idiot, it is very likely that there is good cause to show that the witness knows something relevant. Subpoenas are not issued in a vacuum. No decent attorney calls a witness that he or she does not have a good idea as to what they can or will testify to.

    If the witness makes a statement that runs counter to what he told officers or other people, he can find himself facing perjury charges ... or, facing charges for false reporting or obstruction for lying to the cops earlier.
    Last edited by CdwJava; 02-26-2011 at 07:25 PM.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  14. #14
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by disneykid52 View Post
    I'll say it again. Show proof that the kid does in fact know something.
    Yet another good reason why you should sit quietly instead of posting.

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