Houston County Criminal Court

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

I need help for my Houston 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 Houston 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 Houston 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.

Houston County Criminal Court

Houston County Criminal Court

Where will Houston County criminal case hearings take place?

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

Prosecutor in Houston County

In Houston County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Houston County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Texas. For the most part, the prosecutor in Houston County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

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 Houston 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.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Houston 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.

Sentencing in Houston County

In Houston County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.

Arraignments in Houston County

During an arraignment in Houston County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in Houston County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in Houston County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.

Can I appeal a guilty verdict?

If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.

Mandatory Appearances in Houston County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Houston 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.

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.

Houston County Criminal Court Locations

  • Houston County 3rd District Court

    Address: Phone: 936-544-3255, x222 Fax: 936-544-9523

  • Houston County 349th District Court

    Address: Phone: 936-544-3255, x222 Fax: 936-544-9523

  • Houston County Constitutional Court

    Address: Phone: 936-544-3255, x240 Fax: 936-544-1954

  • Houston County Court at Law

    Address: Phone: 936-544-3255, x240 Fax: 936-544-1954

  • Houston County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

    Address: 700 S 4th St, Crockett TX 75835
    Phone: 936-544-2564 Fax: 936-544-1460

  • Houston County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

    Address: 700 S 4th St, Crockett TX 75835
    Phone: 936-544-9561 Fax: 936-544-1460

  • Crockett Municipal Court

    Address: Phone: 936-544-5156, x211 Fax: 936-544-4976

  • Grapeland Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 62, Grapeland TX 75844
    Phone: 936-687-5141

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