Hardin County Criminal Court

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

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.

Hardin County Criminal Court

Hardin County Criminal Court

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.

Arraignments in Hardin County

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

Prosecutor in Hardin County

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

Mandatory Appearances in Hardin County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Hardin 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.

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.

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.

Where will Hardin County criminal case hearings take place?

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

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.

I need help for my Hardin 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 Hardin 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 Hardin 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 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.

Hardin County Criminal Court Locations

  • Hardin County 88th District Court

    Address: 300 W Monroe St, PO Box 2997, Kountze TX 77625
    Phone: 409-246-5150 Fax: 409-246-5288

  • Hardin County 356th District Court

    Address: 300 W Monroe St, PO Box 2997, Kountze TX 77625
    Phone: 409-246-5150 Fax: 409-246-5288

  • Hardin County Constitutional Court

    Address: 300 Monroe St, PO Box 38, Kountze TX 77625
    Phone: 409-246-5185 Fax: 409-246-3208

  • Hardin County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

    Address: 1290 Hwy 327 W, Silsbee TX 77656
    Phone: 409-385-3740 Fax: 409-385-7713

  • Hardin County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

    Address: PO Box 1612, Silsbee TX 77656
    Phone: 409-385-7195

  • Hardin County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3

    Address: PO Box 1360, Kountze TX 77625
    Phone: 409-246-5115 Fax: 409-246-5191

  • Hardin County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4

    Address: 695 6th St, PO Box 2014, Sour Lake TX 77659
    Phone: 409-287-3211 Fax: 409-287-4000

  • Hardin County Justice of the Peace Precinct 5

    Address: 160 E Chance St, PO Box 8594, Lumberton TX 77657
    Phone: 409-755-2862 Fax: 409-755-7603

  • Hardin County Justice of the Peace Precinct 6

    Address: 42803 Hwy 105, PO Box 503, Batson TX 77519
    Phone: 936-262-8271 Fax: 936-262-7311

  • Kountze Municipal Court

    Address: 835 Redwood St, Kountze TX 77625
    Phone: 409-246-4168

  • Lumberton Municipal Court

    Address: 120 E Chance Cut Off, Lumberton TX 77657
    Phone: 409-755-1491

  • Silsbee Municipal Court

    Address: 1102 N 5th St, Silsbee TX 77656
    Phone: 409-385-7991

  • Sour Lake Municipal Court

    Address: 625 Highway 105 W, Sour Lake TX 77659
    Phone: 409-287-3573

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