Erath County Criminal Court

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

Where will Erath County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Erath County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Erath County.

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.

Erath County Criminal Court

Erath 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.

I need help for my Erath 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 Erath 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 Erath 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.

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.

Mandatory Appearances in Erath County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Erath 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.

Arraignments in Erath County

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

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.

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.

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.

Prosecutor in Erath County

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

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.

Erath County Criminal Court Locations

  • Erath County 266th District Court

    Address: 112 W College St, Stephenville TX 76401
    Phone: 254-965-1486 Fax: 254-965-7156

  • Erath County Constitutional Court

    Address: 100 W Washington, Stephenville Texas 76401
    Phone: 254-965-1482 Fax: 254-965-5732

  • Erath County Court at Law

    Address: 100 W Washington St, Stephenville TX 76401
    Phone: 254-965-1482 Fax: 254-965-5732

  • Erath County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

    Address: 219 S Grafton St, Dublin TX 76446
    Phone: 254-445-2766 Fax: 254-445-4155

  • Erath County Justice of the Peace Precincts 1, 3 & 4

    Address: 112 W College St, Stephenville TX 76401
    Phone: 254-965-1489 Fax: 254-965-1400

  • Dublin Municipal Court

    Address: 213 E Blackjack St, Dublin TX 76446
    Phone: 254-445-3348 Fax: 254-445-3727

  • Stephenville Municipal Court

    Address: 112 W College St, Stephenville TX 76401
    Phone: 254-965-1442

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