Subpoenas in a DUI Case

A subpoena is a document that orders a person to give testimony or provide evidence for a court case.

A subpoena is a type of order that’s used to secure evidence in a court case. Both the prosecution and the defense can subpoena evidence. If you were arrested for DUI in California, your lawyer may use a subpoena to get evidence that helps prove you innocent.

There are two types of subpoena:

  • A subpoena that orders a witness to come to court and give testimony
  • A subpoena that orders a person or organization to provide documents or other evidence

Both kinds of subpoena carry the full weight of the law behind them. Subpoena literally means “under penalty,” because the person being subpoenaed can face serious penalties if they refuse to cooperate. In most cases, a person will cooperate with a subpoena willingly.

If you’re fighting a DUI, the most common use of a subpoena is to get data relating your breath test, blood test or urine test. In particular, your DUI lawyer may want to request data related to a breath test device, to examine it and see if the device has been skewed in past cases. They may also request information from the lab that conducted a blood or urine analysis, to see if any protocols were broken. In some cases a witness from the lab will have to give testimony at trial. All of these sources of evidence are requested by subpoena.

If your DUI involved an accident, witnesses who saw the accident may also be subpoenaed.

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