OFFICE OF THE STATE
 

EIGHTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

 
SEEKING JUSTICE THROUGH PROSECUTION


 

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SERVING THE FOLLOWING COUNTIES

Baker CountyUnion CountyBradford CountyGilcrest County Alachua CountyLevy County

Witness Management
Frequently Asked Questions

What is a subpoena and what should I do with it?

A subpoena is a court order to appear and give sworn testimony.  Subpoenas are issued for a variety of reasons, including testimonies, depositions and trial.  If you receive a subpoena, it is important that you appear on the date and time indicated on the subpoena. Failure to do so may result in you being held in contempt of court and could result in a warrant being issued for your arrest.

If you …..

1)      have received a subpoena and can not make the appearance due to medical, academic, or family reasons, it is your responsibility to contact the State Attorney’s Office to inquire about subpoena excusal; otherwise, you are expected to appear on the date and time indicated on the subpoena.

OR

2)       anticipate a change of address prior to the date you are to appear for the subpoena, please contact Witness Management at (352) 337-6122 Monday- Thursday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Fridays from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm excluding holidays.

I’ve received the subpoena but I don’t want to testify. What can I do?

A subpoena is a court order to appear and give sworn testimony.  Unless you have been released from your subpoena appearance by the Assistant State Attorney, you are required to appear. Failure to do so may result in you being held in contempt of court and could result in a warrant being issued for your arrest. You can discuss your concerns with the Assistant State Attorney when you appear.

How long will it be before my case goes to trial?  When will I know if my case is set for trial?

It is difficult to predict when a case may go to trial as no two cases are alike, and each case takes time to prepare based on the availability of trial witnesses.  However, once the case has been announced ready for trial, you will receive a Trial Subpoena and your Victim Advocate and Witness Coordinator will provide you with trial information.  If you have any questions, call Witness Management at (352) 337-6122 Monday- Thursday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Fridays from 8:00am -4:00 pm excluding holidays.

What about Childcare?

If you are under subpoena, you will need to make arrangements for childcare. The State Attorney’s Office does not have the capability to provide this service at the courthouse or during court proceedings.

However, if your child is a victim/witness in a case, his or her Victim Advocate will be present at the court proceeding to assist with his or her needs.

What should I wear to court?

You should dress as if you were going to work or church. Flip flops, shorts of any kind, short skirts, tank tops or jeans are not considered acceptable court attire. For your comfort, you may want to bring a sweater or light jacket because the courthouse can become very cold. If you have any questions, call Witness Management at (352) 337-6122 Monday- Thursday from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm and Fridays from 8:00am -4:00 pm excluding holidays.

What should I bring to court with me?

Bring your subpoena and give it to either the Witness Coordinator, Victim Advocate or Assistant State Attorney for travel reimbursement.

You may want to bring reading material because you may be required to be at the courthouse for an extended period of time. You may also bring a snack and water. Snack and drink vending machines are also available on the first floor of the courthouse.

What if I need a note for my employer or school?

If you request, your Victim Advocate or Witness Coordinator will send or provide a letter to your employer or school explaining your role in a criminal case.

Where do I park?

You can park at the State Attorney’s Office and walk to the Courthouse. You may also park in the parking garage. If you choose to park in the garage, you will have to pay for parking and provide the receipt to Witness Management in order to be reimbursed. We do not recommend that you park in any of the lots surrounding the courthouse because you could be ticketed and your car may be towed at your expense. The State Attorney’s Office can not reverse tickets or pay for towing expenses.

What if I don’t have transportation?

If you reside in Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy or Union County, the State Attorney’s Office will arrange transportation via a taxi service at no expense to you. If you reside outside or these counties or out of state, the State Attorney’s Office will make travel arrangements for you using the most efficient and economical means of travel by aircraft, bus, or train at no expense to you.

For legal reasons the State will not allow the State Attorney’s Office to pay in advance for rental cars, nor rent cars for your use.

Where do I go once I get to the courthouse to testify?

Your subpoena will instruct you where to appear.  Please read it carefully.  You should report to the designated location and remain outside the courtroom until you are called to testify.  Please bring your subpoena with you. If you have any questions call Witness Management at (352) 337-6122 Monday- Thursday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Fridays from 8:00am -4:00 pm excluding holidays.

When I am at trial or giving testimony, does my employer have to pay me?

Your employer is not required to pay you for the time you are appearing for testimony, deposition or other court proceedings. Per Florida Statute 92.142,  the State Attorney’s Office is allowed to pay a $5.00 attendance fee each day of actual attendance and also 6 cents per mile for actual distance traveled to and from the courts for 1-99 miles roundtrip per day. If roundtrip mileage is greater than 100 miles per day, the mileage reimbursement rate is 44.5 cents per mile. All travel must be by a “usually traveled” route. In case a person travels by an indirect route for his or her own convenience, any extra costs shall be borne by the traveler; and reimbursement for expenses shall be based only on such charges as would have been incurred by a usually traveled route. If you have any questions, call Witness Management at (352) 337-6122 Monday- Thursday from 8:00 am -5:00 pm and Fridays from 8:00am - 4:00 pm excluding holidays.

What If I need a hotel room?

If you are under subpoena and reside in excess of 100 miles from the subpoenaed location or reside out of state, the State Attorney’s Office will make hotel arrangements for you at no expense to you. If you have any questions, call Witness Management at (352) 337-6122 Monday- Thursday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Fridays from 8:00am -4:00 pm excluding holidays.

What type of reimbursements am I allowed to receive?

If you are under subpoenaed, you may be entitled to reimbursement for the following expenses per Florida Statute 92.142 and 112.061.

Witness Fee- the State Attorney’s Office is allowed to pay a $5.00 attendance fee each day of actual attendance.

Mileage- 6 cents per mile for actual distance traveled to and from the courts for 1-99 miles roundtrip per day. If roundtrip mileage is 100 + miles per day, then the mileage reimbursement rate is 44.5 cents per mile.  All travel must be by a usually traveled route. In case a person travels by an indirect route for his or her own convenience, any extra costs shall be borne by the traveler; and reimbursement for expenses shall be based only on such charges as would have been incurred by a usually traveled route. All mileage will be calculated based on the address on the subpoena. The State Attorney’s office can not reimburse for gas.

Meals- All travelers shall be allowed the following amounts for meals if you are required to stay overnight and will be calculated according to Florida Statute 112.061.

-  Breakfast .........$6 -When travel begins before 6 a.m. and extends beyond 8 a.m.

-  Lunch ............ $11- When travel begins before 12 noon and extends beyond 2 p.m.

-  Dinner ............ $19- When travel begins before 6 p.m. and extends beyond 8 p.m.

No allowance shall be made for meals when travel is confined to the residence city or town of the victim/witness or immediate vicinity.

Other Expenses- The following incidental travel expenses of the traveler may be reimbursed. In order to receive reimbursement for these costs, you must provide a receipt to Witness Management stating the total cost incurred.  

-  Taxi fare.

-  Ferry fares; and bridge, road, and tunnel tolls.

-  Storage or parking fees.

If you have any questions, call Witness Management at (352) 337-6122 Monday- Thursday from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm and Fridays from 8:00am - 4:00 pm excluding holidays.