Hale County Criminal Court

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

Hale County Criminal Court locations

Criminal proceedings take place in the Hale County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.

Who is the prosecutor for Hale County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Hale County criminal cases will either be a representative of Hale 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.

Hale County Criminal Court

Hale County Criminal Court

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.

Defendant Sentencing

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.

What happens in Hale County at an arraignment?

In Hale 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.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Hale County you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in a plea agreement.

Mandatory Appearances in Hale County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Hale 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.

What is the Burden of Proof?

The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

Jury Deliberations in Hale County

In Hale 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.

Where can I get help for my Hale County criminal case?

The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Hale County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.

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 Hale County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

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.

Hale County Criminal Court Locations

  • Hale County 64th District Court

    Address: 225 Broadway St, #4, Plainview TX 79072
    Phone: 806-291-5226 Fax: 806-291-5206

  • Hale County 242nd District Court

    Address: 225 Broadway St, #4, Plainview TX 79072
    Phone: 806-291-5226 Fax: 806-291-5206

  • Hale County Constitutional Court

    Address: 500 Broadway St, #140, Plainview TX 79072
    Phone: 806-291-5261 Fax: 806-291-9810

  • Hale County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

    Address: 500 Broadway St, #10, Plainview TX 79072
    Phone: 806-291-5201 Fax: 806-291-5310

  • Hale County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3

    Address: I27 and FM 54, PO Box 217, Abernathy TX 79311
    Phone: 806-757-2476 Fax: 806-757-2481

  • Abernathy Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 310, Abernathy TX 79311
    Phone: 806-298-2546

  • Hale Center Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 532, Hale Center TX 79041
    Phone: 806-839-4451

  • Petersburg Municipal Court

    Address: 1924 Main St, PO Box 326, Petersburg TX 79250
    Phone: 806-667-3461

  • Plainview Municipal Court

    Address: 901 Broadway St, Plainview TX 79072
    Phone: 806-296-1177 Fax: 806-296-1125

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