At the Griffin Law Office, APC, our San Diego criminal defense attorney represents California clients who are facing state or federal charges, so their rights are protected from the start of their cases.
In some instances, Californians who are being charged with a crime, or who can offer compelling evidence during a law enforcement investigation, are often served with a subpoena that requires them to submit to a deposition, testify before a grand jury or at trial, or turn over records that can be used to help bolster their cases.
A subpoena is a formal court order that can be issued in both civil and criminal cases and ordered by both state and federal courts requiring the individual to comply with certain instructions or face criminal charges and/or fines for failing to meet the terms of the order.
If you have been served with a subpoena in California, contact our skilled criminal defense attorneys in San Diego County who can help you understand the request and your obligation to comply, your rights to withhold potentially privileged information, or outline any possible legal avenues for quashing the request.
What Does a State or Federal Subpoena Require Me To Do?
Subpoenas can require a person to appear for a deposition, testify before a grand jury or during a criminal trial, or present evidence outlined in the documents for review.
Some types of evidence frequently subpoenaed include:
- Business Records
- Computer Files and/or Downloaded Material
- Bank Records
- DNA or Blood Samples
- Employee Records
- Financial Documents
- Income Tax Returns
- Phone Records and Text Messages
- Medical Bills and/or Insurance Records
If you have been served with a subpoena, it is highly advised that you partner with a skilled criminal defense lawyer in San Diego to fully understand your legal rights and duties.
Do I Have to Comply with a State or Federal Law Enforcement Subpoena?
The straightforward answer is, yes.
You cannot simply say no or avoid compliance if you have been served with a state or federal subpoena, no matter your fears about what law enforcement will find.
If you have been served with a subpoena in California, you have three options:
- Fully Comply with the Subpoena
Before complying with a state or federal subpoena, talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney who can explain your legal rights and obligations.
- Withhold Privileged Information and/or Documents
Responding to a subpoena may allow you to withhold any information or documents protected by the privilege against self-incrimination, or attorney-client privilege. Our skilled criminal defense lawyer in San Diego can help outline a clear plan to follow documented procedures that ensure compliance while protecting your rights.
- Challenge the Subpoena
Depending on the type of subpoena, and the law enforcement agency that issued the court order, we may submit a formal challenge or file a direct motion to quash the subpoena in whole or in part.
Responding to a state or federal subpoena requires a strategic and well-planned legal approach. The Griffin Law Office can help you understand the best course of action, so your rights are protected from the beginning of an investigation.
What are the Legal Penalties for Failing to Comply with a State or Federal Subpoena?
Failure to respond to a subpoena is punishable as contempt by either the court or agency issuing the subpoena.
The court or agency has broad discretion to determine an appropriate punishment given the circumstances presented, which can include being ordered to produce the evidence that was initially requested in the court order.