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What Is a Subpoena?

A subpoena (pronounced “sub-pee-nuh”) refers to a legal document that demands that someone either produce evidence for a trial or go to testify in it. Ignoring a subpoena or failing to produce the requested evidence can be punished by finding the recipient in contempt of court.

To provide a quick and simple subpoena definition: it’s a piece of paper that asks you to do something, and if you don’t you could face penalties.

The most common outcome of being found in contempt of court is a fine. Rarely, a jail sentence may be handed out. The subpoenaed person may also be given an “order to produce” specific testimony or evidence.

Subpoenas and Personal Injury Cases

For truck and car accident cases, a subpoena can be issued to any number of people. The driver is accused of being at-fault could be subpoenaed to compel them to testify, as can eyewitnesses. The employer of the truck driver could have their hiring paperwork subpoenaed to verify that they dig the appropriate background checks and verified the employee’s commercial driver’s license.

When you work with Auger & Auger Accident and Injury Lawyers, your truck accident attorney can use the power of the subpoena to obtain evidence for your case and force people who have information to produce it for the court. The evidence obtained as a result of a subpoena can help truck accident injury victims build a strong case and, hopefully, obtain reasonable compensation for all of their injury costs.

You, as a victim and a plaintiff, may also be called to testify or produce information by way of subpoena. Your attorney will help you comply with the subpoena while using the optimal legal strategies to give your case a high chance of success.

If you have any questions about a subpoena or obtaining evidence for a personal injury claim, do not hesitate to speak to one of our experienced truck accident injury attorneys.

Schedule a free, no-obligation appointment and case evaluation now when you call (855) 969-5624 or contact us online.

There Are Two Different Types of Subpoena Meaning Two Different Things

Even though people use just the word “subpoena” and act as if there is just one subpoena definition, there are actually two different types of subpoenas.

Subpoena Duces Tecum

This type of legal writ compels a person, business, or organization to send or bring physical evidence to the authority that issued the subpoena. The recipient may be asked to bring a “black box” recording device from the wrecked truck, for instance.

Most often, a subpoena duces tecum is used to demand that the recipient mail copies of relevant documents to the court or the requesting party.

Subpoena ad testificandum

This type of subpoena orders a person to come and testify before the requesting authority. In some cases, this testimony can be performed over the phone. But in most cases, the person will have to travel to provide the testimony in person.

Their testimony can be given during a deposition, which is a form of evidence-gathering before a trial begins. Or, they may be asked to bear witness and testify in open court.

How to Issue a Subpoena

Your personal injury attorney can file the necessary paperwork to ask the court to issue a subpoena on your behalf. These subpoenas are often written during the discovery phase of a case when both sides of a lawsuit are still gathering facts. If a trial has started, you can often request a subpoena for evidence, documents, or witness testimony if the person’s information is relevant to the case.

What Happens If Someone Ignores a Subpoena?

The court or ordering authority has the option to hold the subpoena recipient in contempt of court. If the agency of authority finds the person in contempt, they can at their discretion issue fines or other punishments.

The person who received the subpoena may be given an order to produce, which is a stronger and more specific order to provide information or testimony. They may also be required to hand over attorneys’ fees and court fees to pay for the costs of having to enforce the subpoena through a separate legal action.