Failing to show up for court after being served a subpoena can land the recipient of the subpoena in jail, as noted by the Law Offices of Reichel & Plesser. Failing to obey a subpoena may lead to the issuance of a body attachment, which is basically an arrest warrant. Once jailed, the detained person can be held until the case comes back to court.
It is important to note that a traditional subpoena and a subpoena duces tecum are different documents. The former requires an appearance while the latter requires an appearance and the production of evidence. Sometimes, the evidence can be presented to the court via mail or other means without an actual court appearance by the recipient.