If I receive a subpoena by regular mail, is that legal?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I receive a subpoena by regular mail, is that legal?

Do I still have to appear ? Also, I am 10 hours away in school and it would be a hardship financially as well as missing school unexcused would not be good. I would probably flunk the classes. Is it possible to get out of it? This is a criminal case and they have my deposition already. How would they know I received the subpoena?

Asked on February 3, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No attorney can advise you or guide you in any way to ignore a subpoena, even if improperly served.  I am going to cut and paste the Texas procedure law here so that you can read it.  It appears that if you were mailed it by regular mail that may not be proper service.  Certified mail with return receipt requested seems to be proper and would answer your question "how would they know" that you received it.  If the subpoena is from the Prosecutor's office call them.  They have great power to haul you in but if they need you they may work with you.  If it is from the defendant's attorney then contact an attorney yourself.  The proper thing to do is to make a motion to quash a subpoena for improper service and then you can explain the hardship involved.  Good luck.

Art. 24.04. [464] [527] [515] SERVICE AND RETURN OF
SUBPOENA.  (a) A subpoena is served by:
(1)  reading the subpoena in the hearing of the witness;                      
(2)  delivering a copy of the subpoena to the witness;                        
(3)  electronically transmitting a copy of the subpoena,
acknowledgment of receipt requested, to the last known electronic
address of the witness;  or
(4)  mailing a copy of the subpoena by certified mail, return
receipt requested, to the last known address of the witness unless:
(A)  the applicant for the subpoena requests in writing that
the subpoena not be served by certified mail;  or
(B)  the proceeding for which the witness is being subpoenaed
is set to begin within seven business days after the date the
subpoena would be mailed.
(b)  The officer having the subpoena shall make due return
thereof, showing the time and manner of service, if served under
Subsection (a)(1) or (2) of this article, the acknowledgment of
receipt, if served under Subsection (a)(3) of this article, or the
return receipt, if served under Subsection (a)(4) of this article. 
If the subpoena is not served, the officer shall show in his return
the cause of his failure to serve it.  If receipt of an
electronically transmitted subpoena is not acknowledged within a
reasonable time or a mailed subpoena is returned undelivered, the
officer shall use due diligence to locate and serve the witness.  If
the witness could not be found, the officer shall state the
diligence he has used to find him, and what information he has as to
the whereabouts of the witness.
(c)  A subpoena served under Subsection (a)(3) of this
article must be accompanied by notice that an acknowledgment of
receipt of the subpoena must be made in a manner enabling
verification of the person acknowledging receipt.

 

 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption