What is a Summons in Texas?

If you are ever issued a summons in Texas, it can be a scary experience and you may not know what to do or how to react. Understanding exactly what a summons is can help you to remain calm and make good decisions. Although being issued a summons is never a welcomed experience, it’s not the end of the world either.

A summons is a legal notice issued by the court for a person to either appear in court or to produce a specific document. If you receive a summons, you should read through it carefully and make a note of the date, time and location where you are expected to appear in court. Afterwards, depending on the nature of your case, you may want to contact a criminal defense attorney in your area for legal representation.

How is a summons served in TX?

Every state has specific laws that dictate how a summons must be served in order for it to be legal and valid. When a summons is not served properly according to state law, it may be thrown out in court. In Texas, a summons must be issued by one of the following persons:

  • An adult who has been authorized by the court through a written order.
  • Someone who has been certified under order off the Supreme Court.
  • A clerk of the court.
  • Another person who has been authorized by law.
  • A constable or sheriff.

If you are issued a summons, it’s crucial that you attend court at the date and time specified. Failing to do so means you will lose your case by default, and if it is a criminal case, the court will likely issue a warrant for your arrest.

How summons is different from a warrant

It’s not uncommon for people to confuse a summons with a warrant. However, the two documents are quite different. While a summons summons you to appear in court, a warrant is issued by a judge or magistrate and gives police officers the right to arrest you or search your property. If you are issued a summons, you will not be arrested, but you will be if you have a warrant out for your arrest.

Experienced criminal defense lawyers in Texas

With over 20 years of experience, the Law Office of Andrew Williams has handled all sorts of criminal cases. If you or a loved one has been issued a summons and are expected to appear in court, we can help protect your rights and save you from a criminal conviction. For a free consultation, give us a call today at 281-358-9111 or contact us here online.

Andrew Williams, an experienced attorney who can challenge evidence in a DWI case
About the Author: Andrew Williams
I am a criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years experience defending people accused of wrongdoing. I am board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Only ten percent of attorneys in Texas are board certified in their respective field. I practice criminal law exclusively in both state and federal court including appeals of criminal cases.