Leon County Criminal Court

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

What happens in Leon County at an arraignment?

In Leon 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.

Leon County Criminal Court

Leon County Criminal Court

Where will Leon County criminal case hearings take place?

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

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Leon 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.

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.

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.

Sentencing in Leon County

In Leon 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.

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 Leon 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.

Prosecutor in Leon County

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

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.

Who can help me in Leon County?

For general information about your case the Leon 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.

Mandatory Appearances in Leon County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Leon 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.

Leon County Criminal Court Locations

  • Leon County 12th District Court

    Address: 139 E Main St, PO Box 39, Centerville TX 75833
    Phone: 903-536-2227 Fax: 903-536-5058

  • Leon County 87th District Court

    Address: 139 E Main St, PO Box 39, Centerville TX 75833
    Phone: 903-536-2227 Fax: 903-536-5058

  • Leon County 278th District Court

    Address: 139 E Main St, PO Box 39, Centerville TX 75833
    Phone: 903-536-2227 Fax: 903-536-5058

  • Leon County Constitutional Court

    Address: 155 N Cass St, PO Box 98, Centerville TX 75833
    Phone: 903-536-2352 Fax: 903-536-7581

  • Leon County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

    Address: 928 Commerce St E, PO Box 609, Buffalo TX 75831
    Phone: 903-322-4795 Fax: 903-322-8205

  • Leon County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

    Address: 113 W Main St, PO Box 69, Centerville TX 75833
    Phone: 903-536-2523 Fax: 903-536-3625

  • Leon County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4

    Address: PO Box 1607, Hilltop Lakes TX 77871
    Phone: 936-855-2234 Fax: 936-855-9934

  • Buffalo Municipal Court

    Address: 144 Avant St, PO Box 219, Buffalo TX 75831
    Phone: 903-322-5347 Fax: 903-322-3348

  • Jewett Municipal Court

    Address: 114 N Broadway, PO Box 235, Jewett TX 75846
    Phone: 903-626-6050

  • Marquez Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 85, Marquez TX 77865
    Phone: 903-529-3020

  • Normangee Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 37, Normangee TX 77871
    Phone: 936-396-3691

  • Oakwood Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 96, Oakwood TX 75855
    Phone: 903-545-2131

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