Andrews County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Andrews County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Andrews County.
Andrews County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Andrews County will take place at the Andrews County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Andrews County Criminal Court Locations.
Andrews County Required Court Appearances
In Andrews 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.
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 Andrews County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Andrews County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Andrews County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Andrews County. The Andrews 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.
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.
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.
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.
In a jury trial in Andrews 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.
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.
Who can help me in Andrews County?
For general information about your case the Andrews 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.
Arraignments in Andrews County
During an arraignment in Andrews 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 Andrews 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 Andrews County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Andrews 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.
Andrews County Criminal Court Locations
Andrews County 109th District Court
Address: 201 N Main St, Room 102, Andrews TX 79714
Phone: 432-524-1417 Fax: 432-524-1470
Andrews County Constitutional Court
Address: 215 NW 1st St, PO Box 727, Andrews TX 79714
Phone: 432-524-1426 Fax: 432-524-1464
Andrews County Justice of the Peace Precincts 1 & 4
Address: 215 NW 1st St, Suite 3, Andrews TX 79714
Phone: 432-524-1412 Fax: 432-524-1475
Andrews County Justice of the Peace Precincts 2 & 3
Address: 215 NW 1st St, Suite 4, Andrews TX 79714
Phone: 432-524-1413 Fax: 432-524-1475
Andrews Municipal Court
Address: 111 Logsdon St, Andrews TX 79714
Phone: 432-524-2791 Fax: 432-523-6372