What Happens If I Don't Show up for a Deposition?

Failure to appear at a deposition may result in a court order to testify, states LegalMatch. A deposition is testimony given outside the courtroom, and a deposition subpoena is issued to a non-party to testify and/or produce documents.

A deposition subpoena must be accompanied by a Notice of Deposition to be valid, notes LegalMatch. The deponent must be given advance notice of the time and date of the deposition, and this information is in the Notice of Deposition. The advance notice varies from state to state, but many require five to 14 days. A deposition is given under oath and recorded by a court reporter, so all questions must be answered truthfully. Individuals can be held in contempt of court if they fail to answer all questions during the deposition.

Contempt of court is behavior that defies or opposes the authority, justice and dignity of the court, explains the Law Library. Contempt proceedings are generally categorized as civil or criminal, and direct or indirect. Civil contempt involves the failure to perform an act that is ordered by a court. Courts use civil contempt as a coercive power to gain compliance. Indirect contempt occurs outside the courtroom, but its intention is to belittle, mock, obstruct or degrade the court.