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  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

Houston Criminal Defense Attorney - Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 2.16

Houston Criminal Defense Attorney - Brian Foley - Board Certified in Criminal Law.


Understanding Texas Law: Art. 2.16 - Neglecting to Execute Process


As a criminal defense attorney in Texas, it's important to have a comprehensive understanding of the law and legal processes. One key aspect of criminal law is the execution of legal processes such as summons, subpoenas, and attachments for witnesses. Failure to execute these processes can have serious consequences. In this blog post, we will explore Texas Law Article 2.16, which pertains to the willful refusal or neglect of officers to execute legal processes.


Article 2.16 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure states that if a sheriff or any other officer willfully refuses or fails to execute any summons, subpoena, attachment for a witness, or any other legal process that is within their duty to execute, they can be held liable for contempt and may face fines ranging from $10 to $200 at the discretion of the court. This law emphasizes the importance of officers fulfilling their legal obligations in executing legal processes promptly and efficiently.



The purpose of this law is to ensure that officers carry out their responsibilities in the criminal justice system effectively. Legal processes such as summonses and subpoenas are critical to the functioning of the criminal justice system as they compel witnesses to appear in court or produce documents, which can be crucial in criminal cases. When officers neglect or refuse to execute these processes, it can result in delays and hindrances to the administration of justice.


It's important to note that the fine for contempt under this law is not just a mere slap on the wrist. The fines can range from $10 to $200, which can be a substantial financial burden for officers who fail to execute legal processes as required by law. Moreover, the law explicitly states that the payment of such fines shall be enforced in the same manner as fines for contempt in civil cases, indicating that the consequences for neglecting to execute legal processes are taken seriously.


As a criminal defense attorney, it's essential to be aware of Article 2.16 and its implications. If you encounter a situation where an officer has willfully refused or neglected to execute a legal process in a case you are defending, you can use this law to hold the officer accountable and seek appropriate legal remedies. It's crucial to understand the nuances of this law and work within the legal framework to ensure that justice is served for your clients.


In conclusion, Article 2.16 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure emphasizes the importance of officers executing legal processes promptly and efficiently. Failure to do so can result in fines for contempt, ranging from $10 to $200, and enforcement of such fines in the same manner as civil cases. As a criminal defense attorney, it's crucial to understand this law and utilize it to protect the rights of your clients in cases where officers neglect their duty to execute legal processes.


For litigants who do not have counsel: Reading this blog post does not create an attorney client relationship. Call to set up a free consultation.


For the general public: This Blog/Web Site is for educational purposes only and it provides general information and a general understanding of the law, but does not provide specific legal advice. By using this site, commenting on posts, or sending inquiries through the site or contact email, you confirm that there is no attorney-client relationship created. Don't just read this as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney.


For attorneys: This Blog is informational and educational in nature and is not a substitute for Westlaw or other research and consultation on specific matters pertaining to your clients. As you know the law can change day to day based on recent case opinions. And unfortunately you shouldn't cite it in court as binding authority because it is not. Mention it to your friends, just seek real consultation if it’s something important.

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