Can You Get a Subpoena Without a Lawyer?

When navigating a court case, the goal is to obtain a verdict for the victim.  Therefore it is important to be familiar with your legal system and maintain good legal representation. It is not advisable to navigate a court case without a lawyer. 

One of the areas a lawyer will help in a case besides representing you is issuing a subpoena. A subpoena is a legal order requiring someone to appear and provide testimony or to provide documents or physical evidence. Licensed lawyers have the power to issue a subpoena.

Reasons for a Subpoena

There are many reasons why a subpoena may be issued. The first and the most common reason is when a person has evidence or information that would be critical in a case. Under such a circumstance, a subpoena can effectively compel them to appear in court or in a deposition at a specified date and time. 

The second reason for issuing a subpoena would be when a person has possession of critical evidence to a case, such as documents, photos, and video. Under such circumstances, a subpoena duces tecum will compel them to provide the documents. 

How to Serve a Subpoena

“A subpoena wields the same power as a court order. As a result, ignoring it could result in penalties, including fines, jail time, or both,” says accident acttorney John Eric Fulda. But a recipient is only expected to comply with the contents of the subpoena if they are properly served. 

States have different subpoena-serving laws, so it’s important to know what applies in your state to ensure that you play by the rules. Some states allow email service. Other jurisdictions only allow serving through certified mail or handing the subpoena notice to the recipient in person.

Responding To a Subpoena

If you are a recipient of a subpoena, it’s important not to ignore it. First, read through it to determine its purpose. A subpoena to appear in court may not be as lengthy as others, but if it’s about documents or evidence in your possession, it can be lengthy and require working with a lawyer to clarify what is required of you and how to navigate it.


A lawyer will have the knowledge to identify the evidence or information needed to present your strongest case and can ensure it is served properly. The best thing you can do is get a lawyer.

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