La Salle County Criminal Court

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

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.

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.

La Salle County Criminal Court

La Salle County Criminal Court

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.

Where can I get help for my La Salle 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 La Salle 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.

Sentencing in La Salle County

In La Salle County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.

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.

La Salle County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In La Salle County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in La Salle 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 La Salle 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.

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.

La Salle County Criminal Court locations

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

La Salle County Required Court Appearances

In La Salle 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.

La Salle County Prosecutor

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

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.

La Salle County Criminal Court Locations

  • La Salle County 81st District Court

    Address: 101 Courthouse Square, #107, Cotulla TX 78014
    Phone: 830-879-4432 Fax: 830-879-2933

  • La Salle County 218th District Court

    Address: 101 Courthouse Square, #107, Cotulla TX 78014
    Phone: 830-879-4432 Fax: 830-879-2933

  • La Salle County Constitutional Court

    Address: 101 Courthouse Square, #107, Cotulla TX 78014
    Phone: 830-879-4432 Fax: 830-879-2933

  • La Salle County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

    Address: 101 Courthouse Square, Cotulla TX 78014
    Phone: 830-879-4446 Fax: 830-879-4445

  • La Salle County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

    Address: PO Box 283, Encinal TX 78019
    Phone: 830-483-0585

  • La Salle County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3

    Address: 707 Buckley St, Cotulla TX 78014
    Phone: 830-879-4128 Fax: 830-879-4431

  • La Salle County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4

    Address: PO Box 476, Fowlerton TX 78021
    Phone: 830-373-0096

  • Cotulla Municipal Court

    Address: 117 N Front St, Cotulla TX 78014
    Phone: 830-879-2367

  • Encinal Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 120, Encinal TX 78019
    Phone: 956-948-5226

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