Lamb County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Lamb County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Lamb County.
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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Lamb 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.
Lamb County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Lamb County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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 Lamb County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Lamb 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 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.
Sentencing in Lamb County
In Lamb 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.
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.
Where can I get help for my Lamb 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 Lamb 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.
Lamb County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Lamb County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Lamb County. The Lamb County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.
Lamb County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Lamb County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Lamb 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 Lamb 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.
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.
Lamb County Criminal Court Locations
Lamb County 154th District Court
Address: Phone: 806-385-4222, x240 Fax: 806-385-6485
Lamb County Constitutional Court
Address: Phone: 806-385-4222, x210 Fax: 806-385-6485
Lamb County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1
Address: PO Box 798, Olton TX 79064
Phone: 806-285-7771 Fax: 806-285-3024
Lamb County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2
Address: PO Box 105, Earth TX 79031
Phone: 806-257-2110 Fax: 806-257-2273
Lamb County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3
Address: Phone: 806-385-4222, x226 Fax: 806-385-6485
Lamb County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4
Address: PO Box 300, Sudan TX 79312
Phone: 806-227-2048 Fax: 806-227-2044
Earth Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 105, Earth TX 79031
Littlefield Municipal Court
Address: Phone: 806-385-5161, x206
Olton Municipal Court
Address: 711 Main Street, PO Box 798, Olton TX 79064
Sudan Municipal Court
Address: 111 E First Ave, PO Box 59, Sudan TX 79371