Wharton County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Wharton County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Wharton County.
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 Wharton County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
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.
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.
Wharton County Required Court Appearances
In Wharton County, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.
Wharton County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Wharton County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Wharton County. The Wharton 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.
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.
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.
Sentencing in Wharton County
In Wharton 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.
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.
Arraignments in Wharton County
During an arraignment in Wharton 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 Wharton 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 Wharton County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Where can I get help for my Wharton 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 Wharton 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.
Where will Wharton County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Wharton County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Wharton County.
Wharton County Criminal Court Locations
Wharton County 23rd District Court
Address: 103 S Fulton, #100, PO Drawer 391, Wharton TX 774888
Phone: 979-532-5542 Fax: 979-532-1299
Wharton County 329th District Court
Address: 103 S Fulton, #100, PO Drawer 391, Wharton TX 77488
Phone: 979-532-5542 Fax: 979-532-1299
Wharton County Constitutional Court
Address: 309 E Milam, #700, PO Box 69, Wharton TX 77488
Phone: 979-532-2381 Fax: 979-532-8426
Wharton County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1
Address: 1017 N Alabama Rd, PO Box 1216, Wharton TX 77488
Phone: 979-532-3941 Fax: 979-531-0758
Wharton County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2
Address: 736 Clubside Drive, PO Box 780, East Bernard TX 77435
Phone: 979-335-6210 Fax: 979-335-6312
Wharton County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3
Address: 340 W North St, PO Box 184, Louise TX 77455
Phone: 979-648-2363 Fax: 979-648-2359
Wharton County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4
Address: 605 E Calhoun St, El Campo TX 77437
Phone: 979-543-4322 Fax: 979-543-1568
East Bernard Municipal Court
Address: 704 Church St, East Bernard TX 77435
El Campo Municipal Court
Address: 303 E Jackson, El Campo TX 77437
Phone: 979-543-1212 Fax: 979-543-0027
Wharton Municipal Court
Address: Phone: 979-532-4811, x532 Fax: 979-282-9718