Harrison County Criminal Court

Harrison County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Harrison County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Harrison County.

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.

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.

Harrison County Criminal Court

Harrison County Criminal Court

Harrison County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Harrison County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Harrison County Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In Harrison County a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.

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 is a Plea Agreement?

A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.

What is Jury Deliberation?

After both the prosecution and defense have presented their cases, the judge in the case will provide instructions to the jury about what they must decide. The jury will be dismissed to the jury room where they will deliberate about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. After reaching a unaminous decision, they return their decision to the court where it is read aloud in the courtroom. If the jury is unable to reach a unaminous decision, the jury is deadlocked, also known as a hung jury, in which a mistrial will be declared.

Required Court Appearances in Harrison County

Any required court appearances in Harrison 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.

Who can help me in Harrison County?

For general information about your case the Harrison 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.

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 by Trial Right

The US Constitution (Article 3 along with the 6th Amendment) ensures an accused defendant the right to a jury trial. This applies to crimes that have a $500 fine or a potential sentence of six months in jail (aka Serious Crimes). This right to trial by jury can also be waived by a defendant.

Who is the prosecutor for Harrison County?

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

Where will Harrison County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Harrison County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Harrison County.

Harrison County Criminal Court Locations

  • Harrison County 71st District Court

    Address: 200 W Houston St, #234, Marshall TX 75670
    Phone: 903-935-8409 Fax: 903-927-1918

  • Harrison County Constitutional Court

    Address: 200 W Houston St, #143, PO Box 1365, Marshall TX 75671
    Phone: 903-935-8403 Fax: 903-935-4877

  • Harrison County Court at Law

    Address: 200 W Houston St, #143, PO Box 1365, Marshall TX 75671
    Phone: 903-935-8403 Fax: 903-935-4877

  • Harrison County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

    Address: 165 W Texas Ave, PO Box 150, Waskom TX 75692
    Phone: 903-687-2370 Fax: 903-687-4374

  • Harrison County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

    Address: 200 W Houston St, #251, Marshall TX 75670
    Phone: 903-923-4009 Fax: 903-935-4866

  • Harrison County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3

    Address: PO Box 394, Hallsville TX 75650
    Phone: 903-668-2050 Fax: 903-668-2979

  • Harrison County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 – Place 1

    Address: 200 W Houston St, #125, Marshall TX 75670
    Phone: 903-923-4011 Fax: 903-927-1826

  • Harrison County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 – Place 2

    Address: PO Box 762, Harleton TX 75651
    Phone: 903-777-3232 Fax: 903-777-4637

  • Hallsville Municipal Court

    Address: 105 W Main St, Hallsville TX 75650
    Phone: 903-668-2488 Fax: 903-668-3934

  • Marshall Municipal Court

    Address: 303 W Burleson St, Marshall TX 75670
    Phone: 903-935-4535

  • Waskom Municipal Court

    Address: 450 W Texas Ave, PO Box 730, Waskom TX 75692
    Phone: 903-687-2694 Fax: 903-687-3295

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