Kenedy County Criminal Court

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

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Kenedy 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.

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.

Kenedy County Criminal Court

Kenedy County Criminal Court

Where will Kenedy County criminal case hearings take place?

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

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.

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.

Who is the prosecutor for Kenedy County?

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

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.

Mandatory Appearances in Kenedy County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Kenedy 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 happens in Kenedy County at an arraignment?

In Kenedy 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.

Where can I get help for my Kenedy 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 Kenedy 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.

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 Kenedy 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.

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.

Kenedy County Criminal Court Locations

  • Kenedy County 105th District Court

    Address: 101 W Mallory St, PO Box 227, Sarita TX 78385
    Phone: 361-294-5220 Fax: 361-294-5218

  • Kenedy County Constitutional Court

    Address: 101 W Mallory St, PO Box 227, Sarita TX 78385
    Phone: 361-294-5220 Fax: 361-294-5218

  • Kenedy County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

    Address: 139 N Main St, PO Box 8, Sarita TX 78385
    Phone: 361-294-5785 Fax: 361-294-5788

  • Kenedy County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

    Address: 139 N Main St, PO Box 8, Sarita TX 78385
    Phone: 361-294-5298 Fax: 361-294-5788

  • Kenedy County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3

    Address: 139 N Main St, PO Box 8, Sarita TX 78385
    Phone: 361-294-5786 Fax: 361-294-5788

  • Kenedy County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4

    Address: 139 N Main St, PO Box 8, Sarita TX 78385
    Phone: 361-294-5787 Fax: 361-294-5788

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.