Bandera County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Bandera County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Bandera County.
A Plea Agreement, sometimes known as a Plea Bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant, where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest often in exchange for a lesser charge or lighter recommended sentence. A large majority of criminal cases end in a plea agreement. In Bandera County you can inform your attorney to negotiate with the prosecution to attempt to come to a plea agreement, but this is dependent upon the charge severity and also the prosecutors willingness to accept a plea deal.
The Right to Trial by Jury
The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by a jury. This is applicable for when the crime can carry a sentence of 6 months in jail OR a $500 fine, these are known as “Serious Crimes”. The defendant can also waive their right to a speedy and public trial.
Bandera County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Bandera County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Burden of Proof Requirement
In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Mandatory Appearances in Bandera County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Bandera County, the defendant must appear before the court. In the event of a “Failure to Appear” the judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. Note: not all criminal hearings are mandatory, in a non-mandatory hearing an attorney may appear on your behalf without you being in court.
Right to an attorney
The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Bandera County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
At a sentence hearing the judge will inform the defendant of the sentence that will be imposed. This sometimes occurs at the same hearing in which the defendant is found guilty (either by trial or plea agreement). In can also occur at a later date, most often this is due to the complexity of the case where more time is needed to determine the appropriate sentence.
Appealing a guilty verdict
A defendant may appeal a guilty verdict to an appellate court. This is not a request to have another trial, but a request for an appellate court to review the case and determine that it was handled in a correct legal manner. There are a number of outcomes in an appeal including an upholding of the conviction, a finding that errors were made resulting in a retrial or resentencing or possibly a complete disimissal of all charges.
In a jury trial in Bandera County, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.
Bandera County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Bandera County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Bandera County. The Bandera County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.
What happens in Bandera County at an arraignment?
In Bandera County the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.
Who can help me in Bandera County?
For general information about your case the Bandera County court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.
Bandera County Criminal Court Locations
Bandera County 216th District Court
Address: 3360 State Hwy 173 N, PO Box 2688, Bandera TX 78003
Phone: 830-796-4606 Fax: 830-796-8499
Bandera County Constitutional Court
Address: 500 Main St, PO Box 823, Bandera TX 78003
Phone: 830-796-3332 Fax: 830-796-8323
Bandera County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1
Address: 200 E 7th Ave, Suite 205, PO Box 1043, Bandera TX 78003
Phone: 830-796-3593 Fax: 830-796-8169
Bandera County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2
Address: 9155 FM 1283, Lakehills TX 78063
Phone: 830-751-3535 Fax: 830-751-2142
Bandera County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3
Address: 161 E Parker St, PO Box 1557, Medina TX 78055
Phone: 830-589-7758 Fax: 830-589-2209
Bandera County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4
Address: 1212 Hackberry, PO Box 1043, Bandera TX 78003
Phone: 830-796-3593 Fax: 830-796-8169
Bandera Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 2279, Bandera TX 78003