Carson County Criminal Court

Carson County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Carson County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Carson County.

What happens in Carson County at an arraignment?

In Carson County the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.

Carson County Criminal Court locations

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

Carson County Criminal Court

Carson County Criminal Court

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.

Where can I get help for my Carson 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 Carson 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.

Right to Jury Trial

For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.

Carson County Required Court Appearances

In Carson 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Carson County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in Carson County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Carson County. The Carson 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.

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.

Carson County Criminal Court Locations

  • Carson County 100th District Court

    Address: 501 Main St, PO Box 487, Panhandle TX 79068
    Phone: 806-537-3873 Fax: 806-537-3623

  • Carson County Constitutional Court

    Address: 501 Main St, PO Box 487, Panhandle TX 79068
    Phone: 806-537-3873 Fax: 806-537-3623

  • Carson County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

    Address: PO Box 399, Groom TX 79039
    Phone: 806-248-7444 Fax: 806-248-7444

  • Carson County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

    Address: PO Box 453, Panhandle TX 79068
    Phone: 806-537-3722 Fax: 806-537-2248

  • Groom Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 217, Groom TX 79039
    Phone: 806-248-7929

  • Panhandle Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 129, Panhandle TX 79068
    Phone: 806-537-3733

  • Skellytown Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 129, Skellytown TX 79080
    Phone: 806-848-2477

  • White Deer Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 98, White Deer TX 79097
    Phone: 806-883-4191

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