Falls County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Falls County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Falls County.
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.
What happens in Falls County at an arraignment?
In Falls 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.
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.
I need help for my Falls 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 Falls 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 Falls 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 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.
Where will Falls County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Falls County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Falls County.
Required Court Appearances in Falls County
Any required court appearances in Falls County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.
Jury Deliberations in Falls County
In Falls 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.
Prosecutor in Falls County
In Falls County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Falls County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Texas. For the most part, the prosecutor in Falls County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the 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.
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.
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.
Falls County Criminal Court Locations
Falls County 82nd District Court
Address: PO Box 229, Marlin TX 76661
Phone: 254-883-1419 Fax: 254-883-1423
Falls County Constitutional Court
Address: PO Box 458, Marlin TX 76661
Phone: 254-883-1408 Fax: 254-883-1406
Falls County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1
Address: PO Box 835, Marlin TX 76661
Phone: 254-883-1427 Fax: 254-804-0101
Falls County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2
Address: PO Box 834, Marlin TX 76661
Falls County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3
Address: PO Box 748, Rosebud TX 76570
Phone: 254-583-7506 Fax: 254-583-0356
Falls County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4
Address: PO Box 52, Chilton TX 76632
Phone: 254-546-3700 Fax: 254-546-2016
Lott Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 398, Lott TX 76656
Marlin Municipal Court
Address: Phone: 254-883-1458, x244 Fax: 254-883-2636
Rosebud Municipal Court
Address: 402 W Main PO Box 657, Rosebud TX 76570
Phone: 254-583-7714 Fax: 254-583-2157