traffic court witness; cell phone records subpeona?

I am a victim in a motor vehicle collision. I was asked (not subpoena) to be a witness in the traffic court case. Unbeknownst to me, the defendant’s attorney subpoenaed (sp?) my cell phone records at the time of the accident.

First of all, I never received a subpoena. He claims they made "numerous" attempts to serve me with papers, but they did so at my permanent address which is not where I currently live. He says there is no record of my current address in his "homework" that he did on me, but I have many things (nursing license, for example) registered at this address. I received a letter from the DA asking me to appear in court for the trial, so apparently THEY have my correct address.

I don’t understand what he’s doing, and I don’t know why I’m being probed like this when the police report puts her 100% at fault. I am not on trial here. I am just a witness/victim.

My questions are: If there IS a subpoena for my cell phone records…wouldn’t that order go straight to my wireless provider? Not to me? Or am I expected to obtain my own records and bring them in? I don’t understand or know my rights in this matter. I do have a lawyer for this case, but he is there for the injury claim. I thought the state was the one prosecuting her in this matter, so I’m not sure why I am having to provide personal records for this. I have nothing to hide, but I feel like this is all a little invasive and I feel like no matter what I say, I’m going to say the wrong thing. My other question is: Don’t I have the right to know what sort of "evidence" he is trying to build against me? I was completely blindsided today as it was the first time I had heard about any subpoena for cell phone records.

Advice?

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    5 Responses to “traffic court witness; cell phone records subpeona?”

    1. Only a Flesh Wound Says:

      You can hire an attorney and seek to quash the subpoena, but the attorney who subpoenaed you is entitled to look for evidence relevant to his case, and is not required to tell you what he thinks he will find.

    2. Frank Says:

      Let the DA know what happened, but you don’t need to worry about it.

      The lawyer is trying to show that you were on the phone instead of witnessing what you claim to have witnessed. The subpoena game is just the lawyer’s way of trying to get you disqualified as a witness. The DA will handle it.

    3. parsnipianna Says:

      He would like to try to persuade the court that it was not 100% his client’s fault because you were using your phone at the time of the accident.

      Most service providers have your call records available to you on line, and they are listed in your monthly bill.

      My concern would be that if you called someone immediately after the accident as most of us do, will he try to say this call took place during the accident. The police report might say the accident occurred at 9:45, but the officer wasn’t there, and it’s an approximate time. If it happened at 9: 42 and you made a call at 9:46, the lawyer may try to use it to introduce an element of doubt. But prosecutors aren’t stupid, I doubt if it puts you at risk.

      EDIT#######################################
      I just reread your question, will try to answer your specific questions

      If there IS a subpoena for my cell phone records…wouldn’t that order go straight to my wireless providee?

      It would be much more difficult for him to get them from the provider, so he did it the easy way.

      Or am I expected to obtain my own records and bring them in?

      Yes, you are. BUT if the DA had your correct address, the lawyer would be an idiot not to ask for it the first time he had trouble finding you. I suspect he wanted control over the timing of the delivery of the subpoena.

      I do have a lawyer for this case, but he is there for the injury claim.

      The injury claim is a separate case, is it not? So, actually you do not have a lawyer for this case, because you are , in theory, simply a witness in traffic court with nothing to lose or gain from the outcome, correct? EXCEPT: Wouldn’t the outcome of the traffic court case (defendant is guilty or not) have some bearing on the outcome of the injury claim case (defendant was responsible for injury or not) ?

      Bottom line:

      The lawyer who was hired to make the defendant appear legally less responsible, wants your cell phone records. Why? Perhaps in the hope that he can find a call at about the same time as the accident. While he can’t "prove" it was made at the time of the accident, maybe he knows he can use it to create some doubt.

      The subpoena could have been delivered sooner, giving you more opportunity to realize your stake in this. You really must tell the injury claim attorney about the subpoena and listen to what he tells you to do.

    4. Dont talk about it B about it Says:

      you should check with your provider i tried to get a text history from my provider u.s cellular and they told me i would need a subpoena but that they can only go back 5 days and i would think if they had a subpoena they would go directly to your provider

    5. Little Princess Says:

      Her defense attorney has the job of trying to keep her from being found guilty. For that, all they have to do is show that there’s a reasonable doubt as to her guilt. Even though the police at the scene determined the accident was her fault, that determination is their opinion and as such is subject to the court’s review. She’s contesting what the officer claimed (that it was her fault).

      If they can show that you were talking on the phone or texting at the time of the accident, then they can claim that it was you (rather than her) who was at fault. It doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not, all they have to do is plant the idea that it could be true to make it appear as though there’s a reasonable double as to her guilt.

      The DA has access to more sources of information and that’s why they were able to get your current address. The other lawyer didn’t have (or know) your temporary address. So I’m not really sure what the issue there was.