Many people think that receiving a subpoena means you are wanted or that a case has been filed against you. The truth, however, is that even if nobody has filed a suit against you there is still a chance you might get a subpoena. The first thing you must remember is to not be alarmed if you receive one.
What is it?
A subpoena is a legal order for the respondent to give sworn testimony at a time and place. This testimony will be used in a trial or other legal proceeding, or in an ongoing investigation. If you are commanded to provide specific material/s, the document you received is called a subpoena duces tecum. A judge, a clerk of court, or a lawyer may issue a subpoena.
What if you receive one?
Noll Law Office says you have to take it seriously. You will go to the place at the specified time to provide your testimony or material in your possession. If you feel, however, that this action may have incriminating consequences against you in the case in question or in the future, speak to a Springfield IL criminal defense attorney regarding your options. Avoid hiring the same attorney that sent you the subpoena; hire one who only has your best interests in mind.
If you received a subpoena to supply some materials like documents, and you think said documents might incriminate you, do not destroy them. This alone may land you a criminal case. Show the documents to your own lawyer so they can advise you on how to proceed.
Receiving a subpoena may cause initial alarm, but do not lose sleep over it if you have not done anything wrong. Once you have given your testimony or the materials they need for the case, you can go home and return to your normal life.