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If I'm a witness in court, do I have to go if I don't want to?


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Old 29-09-2011, 19:52
Fhp-Imc
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I'm supposed to be I court tomorrow as a witness and I don't want to go at all. If I don't go do I get in to trouble?
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Old 29-09-2011, 19:53
emby
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I'm supposed to be I court tomorrow as a witness and I don't want to go at all. If I don't go do I get in to trouble?
Why don't you want to go?
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Old 29-09-2011, 19:54
Baboo Yagu
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I'm supposed to be I court tomorrow as a witness and I don't want to go at all. If I don't go do I get in to trouble?
Pretty sure you can get done for contempt of court if you fail to appear. Are you for the defence or prosecution?
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Old 29-09-2011, 19:54
Jimmy the Gent
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If you've been summonsed then you do need to go or you'll be in contempt of court I believe.
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Old 29-09-2011, 19:55
Jane Doh!
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Have you had a subpoena?
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Old 29-09-2011, 19:58
Osusana
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If your evidence is deemed to be crucial and not agreed between the defence and prosecution, you must go.
If you choose not to, the court may issue a witness summons with a request to attend, if you ignore this, the court CAN issue a witness warrant - this means that the police can attend and compel you to go to court. This is done as a last resort because you would then be deemed a "hostile witness" and thought to be under duress, therefore your evidence may not be given the same weight as if you attend voluntarily.

So - yes, you can be forced to attend the court if it is deemed it necessary
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Old 29-09-2011, 19:58
_radioamerica
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They might come to arrest you and take you to the court.

You might be lucky, when I was last in court as a witness I just sat around all day until the guy changed his plea and I didn't even have to do anything.
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Old 29-09-2011, 19:59
Fhp-Imc
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The police interviewed me after the neighbours were fighting one night. I witnessed the boyfriend hit the girlfriend and she pressed charges against him. They are now "back together" but not in the eyes of the law as he cant go anywhere near her . That's why I don't Want to go to court.

What's the worst that could happen?
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Old 29-09-2011, 20:00
Babe Rainbow
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I'm supposed to be I court tomorrow as a witness and I don't want to go at all. If I don't go do I get in to trouble?
Yes you will.

But think about the real more important reasons.

Suppose you have been a victim of a crime and the only witness can't be arsed to go to court to give evidence. And the accused gets off or the case gets dismissed.

How would you feel if you had been denied justice just cos someone can't be bothered.
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Old 29-09-2011, 20:01
richard cranium
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Yeah, just don't turn up, it's optional, they won't mind.
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Old 29-09-2011, 20:03
Osusana
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The police interviewed me after the neighbours were fighting one night. I witnessed the boyfriend hit the girlfriend and she pressed charges against him. They are now "back together" but not in the eyes of the law as he cant go anywhere near her . That's why I don't Want to go to court.

What's the worst that could happen?
See my post above - if the court sees fit, you can be forced to attend on a warrant and if you then refuse to give evidence, you can be held in the court cells for contempt until the magistrates or judge sees fit to release you.

As someone else posted, it is most likely to not go ahead, often pleas are changed to guilty on the day when the witnesses turn up and the accused has been chancing it.
Maybe your statement can be agreed, then you don't have to attend and the statement is merely read out to the court on the day?

Do not take the law and the court lightly though, it can and will bite you!
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Old 29-09-2011, 20:06
Baboo Yagu
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What's the worst that could happen?
The police could come and arrest you, throw you in a cell and take you to court later, but only after your 21st psycho cellmate has treated you to a bout of 'surprise stranger sex'.
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Old 29-09-2011, 20:07
Fhp-Imc
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Yes you will.

But think about the real more important reasons.

Suppose you have been a victim of a crime and the only witness can't be arsed to go to court to give evidence. And the accused gets off or the case gets dismissed.

How would you feel if you had been denied justice just cos someone can't be bothered.
Where did I say that I "couldn't be bothered"? Read my posts again.
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Old 29-09-2011, 20:17
Babe Rainbow
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Where did I say that I "couldn't be bothered"? Read my posts again.

OK "Don't want to" - when I posted I hadn't read your later post.

I can actually see why you are reluctant when they are back together. Why should you bother when she doesn't seem to be taking it very seriously ? I can sympathise.

But that's not your call. Maybe you should mention that to the officials when you arrive at court.

Listen - I know what it is like to go to court as a witness - I had to do it in a murder case and I was terrified. So I do understand. But it IS important.
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Old 29-09-2011, 20:20
Fhp-Imc
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OK "Don't want to" - when I posted I hadn't read your later post.

I can actually see why you are reluctant when they are back together. Why should you bother when she doesn't seem to be taking it very seriously ? I can sympathise.

But that's not your call. Maybe you should mention that to the officials when you arrive at court.

Listen - I know what it is like to go to court as a witness - I had to do it in a murder case and I was terrified. So I do understand. But it IS important.


It's bloody nerve racking . Never been to a court house or police station. Very nervous
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Old 29-09-2011, 20:22
Packup Pete
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Been in the same position, I had to go, you may well be prosecuted if you don't. Most annoying if like me your self employed.
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Old 29-09-2011, 20:23
Jane Doh!
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Been in the same position, I had to go, you may well be prosecuted if you don't. Most annoying if like me your self employed.
I had to go when I was eight and a half months pregnant. That was really stressful as well.
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Old 29-09-2011, 20:24
Babe Rainbow
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It's bloody nerve racking . Never been to a court house or police station. Very nervous
Yes I understand. Give Witness Support a call. They will be able to talk you through exactly what you need to do on the day. You can even go in beforehand and have a look around and see what goes on.
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Old 29-09-2011, 20:27
Si_Crewe
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Have you had a subpoena?
Do we actually have subpoenas here?

I notice more and more people using american legal terms these days, possibly cos google returns results from the USA etc.
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Old 29-09-2011, 20:29
blueblade
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I'm supposed to be I court tomorrow as a witness and I don't want to go at all. If I don't go do I get in to trouble?
The trick is to try and not be a witness.

Sorry, but as a witness, you'll have to go. Look upon it as a learning experience which you may never have to repeat. You can talk about it and use it as a conversation piece in the years to come.
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Old 29-09-2011, 20:36
deev1ne0ne
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The police could come and arrest you, throw you in a cell and take you to court later, but only after your 21st psycho cellmate has treated you to a bout of 'surprise stranger sex'.
That's hawt!
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Old 29-09-2011, 20:40
Espresso
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Do we actually have subpoenas here?

I notice more and more people using american legal terms these days, possibly cos google returns results from the USA etc.
I think we call it a summons.
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Old 29-09-2011, 20:42
duckymallard
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Not sure about England, but in Scotland you will have received a citation to appear as a witness in the case.

Failure to attend is NOT AN OPTION.

If you don't turn up, you'll piss off the court who will issue a warrant for your arrest.
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Old 29-09-2011, 20:43
duckymallard
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Yeah, just don't turn up, it's optional, they won't mind.
^^^^^

Ignore this chap, he's living up to his user name.
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Old 29-09-2011, 21:06
cjsmummy
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You have to go, I was to appear as a witness and thought saying I couldn't get a babysitter would be a good excuse.....wrong! Had to find a babysitter sharpish.
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