Runnels County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Runnels County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Runnels County.
Arraignments in Runnels County
During an arraignment in Runnels 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 Runnels 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 Runnels County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Runnels County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Runnels County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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.
In a jury trial in Runnels 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.
Prosecutor in Runnels County
In Runnels County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Runnels County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Texas. For the most part, the prosecutor in Runnels County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Runnels 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.
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.
Where can I get help for my Runnels 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 Runnels 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.
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 Runnels County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Runnels 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 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.
Sentencing in Runnels County
In Runnels 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.
Runnels County Criminal Court Locations
Runnels County 119th District Court
Address: PO Box 166, Ballinger TX 76821
Phone: 325-365-2638 Fax: 325-365-9229
Runnels County Constitutional Court
Address: 613 Hutchings Ave, #106, PO Box 189, Ballinger TX 76821
Phone: 325-365-2720 Fax: 325-365-3408
Runnels County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1
Address: 613 Hutchings Ave, #303, Ballinger TX 76821
Phone: 325-365-2137 Fax: 325-365-4823
Runnels County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2
Address: PO Box 657, Winters TX 79567
Phone: 325-754-4270 Fax: 325-754-5734
Ballinger Municipal Court
Address: 106 N 9th St, Ballinger TX 76821
Miles Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 398, Miles TX 76861
Winters Municipal Court
Address: 310 S Main St, Winters TX 79567