Austin County Criminal Court

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

Defendant Sentencing

At a sentence hearing the judge will inform the defendant of the sentence that will be imposed. This sometimes occurs at the same hearing in which the defendant is found guilty (either by trial or plea agreement). In can also occur at a later date, most often this is due to the complexity of the case where more time is needed to determine the appropriate sentence.

Austin County Required Court Appearances

In Austin 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.

Austin County Criminal Court

Austin County Criminal Court

Austin County Criminal Court locations

Criminal proceedings take place in the Austin County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.

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.

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.

Prosecutor in Austin County

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

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.

Arraignments in Austin County

During an arraignment in Austin 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 Austin 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 Austin County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.

I need help for my Austin County criminal case

The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Austin County court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Austin County will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.

What if I can’t afford an attorney?

The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.

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.

Jury Deliberations in Austin County

In Austin County, jury deliberations will take place in a jury trial after the prosecution and defense have presented their cases and rested. At this point, the judge will provide a list of instructions to the jury about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and what verdict options are available for them to decide. The jury will be sent to a private room to discuss the evidence presented in the case and attempt to reach a unaminous decision. When a unaminous decision is reached, the jury will inform the judge that they have reached a verdict and will return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read allowed. In the event that the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury results in a deadlock and a mistrial is declared.

Austin County Criminal Court Locations

  • Austin County 155th District Court

    Address: One E Main St, Bellville TX 77418
    Phone: 979-865-5911

  • Austin County Constitutional Court

    Address: One E Main St, Bellville TX 77418
    Phone: 979-865-5911 Fax: 979-865-0336

  • Austin County Court at Law

    Address: One E Main St, Bellville TX 77418
    Phone: 979-865-5911 Fax: 979-865-0336

  • Austin County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

    Address: One E Main St, Bellville TX 77418
    Phone: 979-865-9171

  • Austin County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

    Address: PO Box 176, Industry TX 78944
    Phone: 979-357-4477

  • Austin County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3

    Address: 201 Atchison St, Sealy TX 77474
    Phone: 979-885-3195 Fax: 979-885-1156

  • Austin County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4

    Address: PO Box 760, Wallis TX 77485
    Phone: 979-478-6723

  • Bellville Municipal Court

    Address: 30 S Holland St, Bellville TX 77418
    Phone: 979-865-2145 Fax: 979-865-9485

  • San Felipe Municipal Court

    Address: 927 Sixth St, PO Box 68, San Felipe TX 77473
    Phone: 979-885-7035

  • Sealy Municipal Court

    Address: 415 Main St, PO Box 517, Sealy TX 77474
    Phone: 979-885-6733 Fax: 979-885-4784

  • Wallis Municipal Court

    Address: 6810 Guyler, Building B, Wallis TX 77485
    Phone: 979-478-6712

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