Culberson County Criminal Court

Culberson County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Culberson County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Culberson County.

Required Court Appearances in Culberson County

Any required court appearances in Culberson County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.

If guilty, who sentences the defendant?

If the defendant is found guilty after the trial, the defendent will be sentenced. In some cases, this can occur at the same hearing the defendant is found guilty in court, in other cases a separate hearing will be required. Often the prosecution will request a particular sentence for the defendant and the judge will determine whether to enforce this sentence or impose a different sentence for the defendant.

Culberson County Criminal Court

Culberson County Criminal Court

I need help for my Culberson County criminal case

The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Culberson County court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Culberson County will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.

The Right to Counsel

The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.

Culberson County Criminal Court hearings

Criminal hearings in Culberson County will take place at the Culberson County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Culberson County Criminal Court Locations.

Burden of Proof

The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.

Appealing a Criminal Conviciton

A defendant may appeal a criminal conviction to an appellate court. In an appeal, the actual trial is not redone, but the appellate court hears arguments that the criminal case was not handled in a legal manner at the original criminal court. The appellate court can either uphold the conviction, or determine that errors were made and may request a retrial, a resentencing of the defendant or that the charges be dismissed.

What happens in Culberson County at an arraignment?

In Culberson 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.

Jury Deliberations in Culberson County

In Culberson County, jury deliberations will take place in a jury trial after the prosecution and defense have presented their cases and rested. At this point, the judge will provide a list of instructions to the jury about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and what verdict options are available for them to decide. The jury will be sent to a private room to discuss the evidence presented in the case and attempt to reach a unaminous decision. When a unaminous decision is reached, the jury will inform the judge that they have reached a verdict and will return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read allowed. In the event that the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury results in a deadlock and a mistrial is declared.

Who is the prosecutor for Culberson County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Culberson County criminal cases will either be a representative of Culberson County or a representative from Texas. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.

Right to Jury Trial

For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.

Plea Agreements

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 Culberson 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.

Culberson County Criminal Court Locations

  • Culberson County 205th District Court

    Address: PO Box 158, Van Horn TX 79855
    Phone: 432-283-2058 Fax: 432-283-9234

  • Culberson County 394th District Court

    Address: PO Box 158, Van Horn TX 79855
    Phone: 432-283-2058 Fax: 432-283-9234

  • Culberson County Constitutional Court

    Address: PO Box 158, Van Horn TX 79855
    Phone: 432-283-2058 Fax: 432-283-9234

  • Culberson County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

    Address: PO Box 367, Van Horn TX 79855
    Phone: 432-283-2609 Fax: 432-283-9272

  • Culberson County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

    Address: PO Box 1584, Van Horn TX 79855
    Phone: 432-283-8439 Fax: 432-283-9234

  • Culberson County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3

    Address: 13441 US Hwy 62/180, Salt Flat TX 79847
    Phone: 915-828-3213 Fax: 915-828-3303

  • Culberson County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4

    Address: PO Box 1394, Van Horn TX 79855
    Phone: 432-283-2999

  • Van Horn Municipal Court

    Address: 1801 W Broadway, PO Box 517, Van Horn TX 79855
    Phone: 432-283-2050 Fax: 432-283-2839

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