Witness FAQs

Please click on a topic below for answers to frequently asked questions.

If your questions are not answered, please contact us at (559) 600-3141 or damail@fresnocountyca.gov for assistance.

What do I do if I get a subpoena?

A subpoena is a legal court order and must be obeyed as such. Please review the WITNESS INSTRUCTIONS section of your subpoena and note the contact number. If no number is listed, please contact the Fresno County District Attorney's Office at (559) 600-3157. Please reference the DA case number when calling.

Disobedience of a subpoena can result in a fine and/or jail sentence, so please be sure to contact the District Attorney's Office upon receipt of your subpoena.

If I received a subpoena, who do I call to get more information about why I am a witness?

Witnesses are not limited to eye witnesses. You may not have seen the crime happen but you may know something about it. You may also know something about a piece of evidence, or you may know something that contradicts another witness’s testimony. If you wonder why you are testifying in a particular case, contact the deputy district attorney listed on the subpoena for more information.

If I received a subpoena from the District Attorney's Office to appear as a witness in a criminal case, what do I do if I am unable to appear on the date stated in the subpoena?

A subpoena is a court order that must be obeyed. If you have a date conflict, contact the deputy district attorney listed on the subpoena before the appearance date and discuss your conflict. If you do not appear without receiving permission from the deputy district attorney, a warrant can be issued for your arrest.

As a witness, do I have to talk in front of the defendant when I am in court?

Yes. The defendant has the right to be present in court to hear what all the witnesses say about him or her. Both the prosecutor and the defendant’s attorney will ask you questions.