I Have Received A Subpoena In Colorado. What Should I Do?

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If you have received a subpoena in Colorado, the first thing you should do is identify whether it is requesting live testimony, production of documents or both. You will also want to know who the subpoena is from, and what kind of case it concerns. Subpoenas can take many forms, including federal grand jury subpoenas from the Department of Justice, state subpoenas from the Attorney General or District Attorney, administrative subpoenas from federal or state agencies, or civil subpoenas from private parties.  

In nearly all cases, you will want to contact an experienced attorney. With their help, you can find out whether you are a witness or a target in the case. Discovering this information can help you understand why the government or another party wants documents or testimony from you, and whether you could be facing criminal or civil charges or other possible adverse consequences. 

An attorney can also help you seek a continuance if you need time to assemble documents, or to narrow the subpoena if its requests are overbroad. They can also explore the possibility of obtaining immunity depending on the nature of the investigation. 

Ignoring A Subpoena 

If you feel threatened by receiving a subpoena, you may feel tempted to ignore it. But doing so can be a grave mistake. Failing to respond to a subpoena puts you at risk of being held in contempt of court, the penalties for which can range from a fine to jail time. 

Protection Against Incrimination 

While cooperating with a subpoena in some form is usually the best course of action, you put yourself at risk if you move forward without the assistance of legal counsel. Some people hand over documents willy-nilly, not understanding that doing so could needlessly increase their likelihood of a lawsuit or criminal indictment. Just like you would not operate on yourself if you got injured, it is best not to try to fix your legal problems on your own. 

Your attorney will serve as an important intermediary when responding to a subpoena. Not only can your legal counsel get crucial information from the court, prosecutors, regulators or the opposing attorney while working on your case, but they can also help you shape your narrative by providing the necessary evidence with the absolute minimal risk to you. It is their job to protect you; they will help you fight burdensome requests and establish a strong defense on your behalf. 

A Right To Counsel 

Receiving a subpoena is scary, but remember that you have an absolute right to counsel. The assistance of an experienced attorney can make all the difference in ensuring that your rights and interests remain protected throughout the process.  


The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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