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Definition of Subpoena

A subpoena is a court order for a person to appear in court at a specific date and time to testify at a trial. Individuals who have been subpoenaed for a criminal case will have to testify in criminal court. Individuals who are subpoenaed for a civil case may be allowed to testify out of court. Individuals who fail to appear when issued a subpoena may be held in contempt of court, and they may be fined or arrested. Subpoenas may be issued by a court clerk who is responsible for notifying all of the witnesses who need to appear at trial.

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