Duties as a witness:
You have been subpoenaed to testify because you have information or knowledge that is pertinent to the issue at hand in a trial. It is your duty as a witness to appear in court to testify both properly attired and in a timely manner. It is also your obligation to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
The Midland County Courthouse where you will be asked to appear is located at 500 N. Loraine St in Midland, Texas. Please be advised that when you enter the courthouse you will be required to go through the security checkpoint at the main entrance, which includes metal detectors and a list of prohibited items.
You will be required to treat the Court and its officers with the appropriate respect. You will be required to answer all questions directly and to speak clearly and distinctly. The worst thing a witness can do is lose their temper – you are required to be in Court testifying, so attempting to argue with the attorneys or the Judge will only make this process more painful and potentially costly for you as the witness.
Despite the fact that you may have already provided law enforcement personnel with an oral or written statement about the incident in question, you will still be required to testify in person in the trial of the case. The Judge will not allow the written or recorded statement into evidence as it is inadmissible under the Texas Rules of Evidence. The law requires the witness to appear in court, tell their story under oath, and be subject to questioning by all parties.
Under Texas law, witnesses are required to wait outside the courtroom until it is time for their testimony. They are not allowed to sit in the courtroom and listen to the testimony of any of the other witnesses.
What do I do with my subpoena:
Once you have received your subpoena please call the phone number listed. That number will direct you to the trial team secretary for the court you are supposed to appear in. The trial team secretary will then get you in touch with the attorney prosecuting the case. PLEASE CALL IMMEDIATELY UPON RECEIVING YOUR SUBPOENA.
If you cannot find the number, please call 432-688-4410 and the secretary will direct you to the prosecuting attorney.
The subpoena may also be used to show your employer that you will need to be off work on the dates listed in the subpoena. Please bring the subpoena with you to court.
Witnesses are not compensated for their testimony. However, if a witness does not reside in Midland County, the witness may be reimbursed for travel – be it an airplane ticket or gas mileage – and lodging while in Midland. The staff of the District Attorney’s office is very efficient and will assist in arrangements for travel, lodging, and meals for however long a witness is required to be in Midland.
Effect of a subpoena:
As a witness, you have been issued a subpoena telling you a specific date and time when your testimony is required. If you fail to or refuse to appear to testify as directed by the subpoena, the prosecutor will request that a warrant be issued for your arrest. Pursuant to this warrant, you may be confined in jail until such time as you testify in the case. Willful failure to obey the subpoena, which is a court order, can also lead to punishment from the court in the form of a fine or additional confinement in jail. Furthermore, perjury is a felony offense. It is unlawful to make a false statement while testifying under oath in an official proceeding, such as a trial.
Please note that the subpoena of the District Attorney’s Office instructs you to call and check with the office before reporting to the courthouse at the time and date listed on the subpoena. This may prevent an unnecessary trip to the courthouse in the case of a last minute change in the trial schedule. Please call the number provided on the subpoena to verify your receipt of the subpoena and receive any useful information the prosecutor or staff member may have pertaining to your testimony.
There are rules governing the proper attire to be worn in a courtroom. Violation of these rules can lead to the Bailiff of the Court escorting you from the courtroom and not permitting reentrance until the improper attire is corrected. Additionally, CELL PHONES ARE NOT PERMITTED IN THE COURTROOM. If you have your cell phone on you, please turn it off. A ringing cell phone is the quickest way to be kicked out of the courtroom for the remainder of the trial.
What Not To Wear:
Pants with rips or tears
Obviously dirty clothing
Tops with plunging necklines
Shirts with logos or words on them
Inappropriately short shorts or skirts
Any outfit that exposes your undergarments
More likely than not, you received your subpoena from one of the Investigators working for the Midland County District Attorney’s Office. Although these gentlemen are friendly, they are also licensed peace officers and have law enforcement training and certification. If you are contacted by one of the Investigators in reference to serving you with a subpoena from our office, your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
If anyone tries to contact you that is not one of the attorneys in the case or their employee or staff, and this person attempts to threaten you in any way, please notify law enforcement or the District Attorney’s office as soon as possible. Tampering with a witness is a felony offense under Texas Penal Code section 36.05 and retaliation against a witness is a felony offense under Texas Penal Code section 36.06. So if anyone threatens you, contacts you in a threatening manner, or attempts to intimidate or coerce you into not testifying or “dropping the charges”, please contact any law enforcement agency or the Assistant District Attorney handling your case immediately so that appropriate steps may be taken to cease this behavior.