A Missouri judge can generally issue a subpoena, requiring a witness to testify and produce evidence in a car accident case.
If you have been injured in a car accident and are considering filing a lawsuit, one of the things that you will want to do is identify eyewitnesses. However, if your witness doesn’t want to help you out by testifying on your behalf in court, can they be subpoenaed?
Can a Missouri Court Subponae A Witness to Testify In Your Case?
As a general rule, a Missouri state judge can issue a subpoena, requiring a witness to testify and produce evidence in a car accident case. A subpoena is a court order commanding a witness to appear in court at a specified date, time, and place to give testimony. If a witness fails to obey a subpoena, a warrant may be issued for their arrest, or they may be found to be in contempt of court.
That said, there are a few exceptions where the court cannot require an individual to provide testimony in your car accident case:
- The testimony is self-incriminating: If the witness feels or believes their testimony may incriminate themselves in some way, they may be able to refuse to testify on the grounds that it would violate their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
- The witness is married to the defendant: If the defendant in your car accident case is married to the witness, they may refuse to testify on the grounds that it would be an act of spousal or marital privilege.
- The witness is the defendant’s attorney, doctor, or priest: If the witness is any of the above professionals who have a duty of confidentiality to the defendant, they may refuse to testify on those grounds.
- The witness is the defendant: If the defendant in your car accident case is called to testify, it may be considered a form of self-incrimination, and they would not have to provide testimony.
- The witness is not competent to testify: If the witness is not competent, they generally cannot be forced to testify. For example, an individual with a mental illness may lack competency and generally can’t be forced to testify.
What If Witness Is Uncooperative and Unwilling to Testify?
Your injury case generally won’t be dismissed simply because a witness refuses to cooperate. However, there’s no denying that it may affect your case. It may be challenging to prove your claim against the at-fault party without a witness and strong evidence.
Your case should be discussed with an experienced attorney. They can help you identify eyewitnesses and build a strong case.
St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers
If you have been involved in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation with an experienced St. Louis car accident lawyer.
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