Hutchinson County Criminal Court

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

Mandatory Appearances in Hutchinson County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Hutchinson 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.

I need help for my Hutchinson 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 Hutchinson 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 Hutchinson 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.

Hutchinson County Criminal Court

Hutchinson County Criminal Court

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.

Right to an attorney

The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Hutchinson County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

Plea Agreements

A Plea Agreement, sometimes known as a Plea Bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant, where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest often in exchange for a lesser charge or lighter recommended sentence. A large majority of criminal cases end in a plea agreement. In Hutchinson County you can inform your attorney to negotiate with the prosecution to attempt to come to a plea agreement, but this is dependent upon the charge severity and also the prosecutors willingness to accept a plea deal.

Where will Hutchinson County criminal case hearings take place?

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

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.

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.

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.

Hutchinson County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Hutchinson County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Hutchinson County Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In Hutchinson County a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.

Who is the prosecutor for Hutchinson County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Hutchinson County criminal cases will either be a representative of Hutchinson County or a representative from Texas. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.

If guilty, who sentences the defendant?

If the defendant is found guilty after the trial, the defendent will be sentenced. In some cases, this can occur at the same hearing the defendant is found guilty in court, in other cases a separate hearing will be required. Often the prosecution will request a particular sentence for the defendant and the judge will determine whether to enforce this sentence or impose a different sentence for the defendant.

Hutchinson County Criminal Court Locations

  • Hutchinson County 84th District Court

    Address: 500 Main St, PO Box 580, Stinnett TX 79083
    Phone: 806-878-4017 Fax: 806-878-4042

  • Hutchinson County 316th District Court

    Address: 500 Main St, PO Box 580, Stinnett TX 79083
    Phone: 806-878-4017 Fax: 806-878-4042

  • Hutchinson County Constitutional Court

    Address: 500 Main St, PO Box 1186, Stinnett TX 79083
    Phone: 806-878-4002 Fax: 806-878-3497

  • Hutchinson County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

    Address: 500 Main St, PO Box 640, Stinnett TX 79083
    Phone: 806-878-4024 Fax: 806-878-3036

  • Hutchinson County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

    Address: 1400 Veta St, #105, Borger TX 79007
    Phone: 806-273-0103 Fax: 806-273-0112

  • Borger Municipal Court

    Address: 600 N Main St, PO Box 5250, Borger TX 79008
    Phone: 806-273-0975

  • Fritch Municipal Court

    Address: 104 N Robey Ave, PO Box 758, Fritch TX 79036
    Phone: 806-857-3143

  • Stinnett Municipal Court

    Address: 609 Mackenzie Ave, PO Box 909, Stinnett TX 79083
    Phone: 806-878-2422 Fax: 806-878-2540

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