Hill County Criminal Court

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

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.

Hill County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Hill County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Hill 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 Hill 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.

Hill County Criminal Court

Hill County Criminal Court

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.

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.

Required Court Appearances in Hill County

Any required court appearances in Hill 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.

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.

Who can help me in Hill County?

For general information about your case the Hill 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 if I can’t afford an attorney?

The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.

Hill County Criminal Court locations

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

Who is the prosecutor for Hill County?

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

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.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Hill 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.

Hill County Criminal Court Locations

  • Hill County 66th District Court

    Address: PO Box 634, Hillsboro TX 76645
    Phone: 254-582-4042 Fax: 254-582-4035

  • Hill County Constitutional Court

    Address: 80 N Waco St, 1st Floor, PO Box 398, Hillsboro TX 76645
    Phone: 254-582-4030 Fax: 254-582-4003

  • Hill County Court at Law

    Address: 80 N Waco St, 1st Floor, PO Box 398, Hillsboro TX 76645
    Phone: 254-582-4030 Fax: 254-582-4003

  • Hill County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

    Address: PO Box 1853, Hillsboro TX 76645
    Phone: 254-694-3140 Fax: 254-694-5503

  • Hill County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

    Address: 1 N Waco St, PO Box 316, Itasca TX 76055
    Phone: 254-582-4025 Fax: 254-582-4005

  • Hill County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3

    Address: PO Box 1, Hubbard TX 76648
    Phone: 254-576-2721

  • Hill County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4

    Address: PO Box 206, Itasca TX 76055
    Phone: 254-687-2424

  • Covington Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 443, Covington TX 76636
    Phone: 254-854-2373

  • Hillsboro Municipal Court

    Address: 115 S Waco St, PO Box 568, Hillsboro TX 76645
    Phone: 254-582-9634 Fax: 254-582-3199

  • Hubbard Municipal Court

    Address: Phone: 254-576-2576, x22

  • Itasca Municipal Court

    Address: 126 N Hill St, Itasca TX 76055
    Phone: 254-687-2990

  • Malone Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 6, Malone TX 76660
    Phone: 254-533-2261

  • Whitney Municipal Court

    Address: 115 W Jefferson Ave, PO Box 2050, Whitney TX 76692
    Phone: 254-694-2261

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