Scurry County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Scurry County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Scurry County.
Prosecutor in Scurry County
In Scurry County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Scurry County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Texas. For the most part, the prosecutor in Scurry County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Scurry County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Scurry County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Scurry 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 Scurry 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.
Burden of Proof Requirement
In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Who can help me in Scurry County?
For general information about your case the Scurry 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.
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.
Right to an attorney
The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Scurry County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
What is a Plea Agreement?
A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.
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.
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.
Scurry County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Scurry County will take place at the Scurry County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Scurry County Criminal Court Locations.
Mandatory Appearances in Scurry County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Scurry 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.
If guilty, who sentences the defendant?
If the defendant is found guilty after the trial, the defendent will be sentenced. In some cases, this can occur at the same hearing the defendant is found guilty in court, in other cases a separate hearing will be required. Often the prosecution will request a particular sentence for the defendant and the judge will determine whether to enforce this sentence or impose a different sentence for the defendant.
Scurry County Criminal Court Locations
Scurry County 132nd District Court
Address: 1806 25th St, #402, Snyder TX 79549
Phone: 325-573-5641 Fax: 325-573-1081
Scurry County Constitutional Court
Address: 1806 25th St, #300, Snyder TX 79549
Phone: 325-573-5332 Fax: 325-573-7396
Scurry County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1
Address: 911 25th St, Snyder TX 79549
Phone: 325-573-5406 Fax: 325-574-1912
Scurry County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2
Address: 632 Dunn Ave, Hermleigh TX 79526
Phone: 325-863-2239 Fax: 325-863-2239
Snyder Municipal Court
Address: 1925 24th St, Snyder TX 79549
Phone: 325-573-4958 Fax: 325-573-7827