Lavaca County Criminal Court

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

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.

Lavaca County Criminal Court

Lavaca 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.

I need help for my Lavaca 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 Lavaca 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 Lavaca 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.

Lavaca County Required Court Appearances

In Lavaca 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.

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.

Prosecutor in Lavaca County

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

Arraignments in Lavaca County

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

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.

Where will Lavaca County criminal case hearings take place?

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

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.

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 Lavaca County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

Lavaca County Criminal Court Locations

  • Lavaca County 25th District Court

    Address: 109 N La Grange St, PO Box 306, Hallettsville TX 77964
    Phone: 361-798-2351 Fax: 361-798-5674

  • Lavaca County 2nd 25th District Court

    Address: 109 N La Grange St, PO Box 306, Hallettsville TX 77964
    Phone: 361-798-2351 Fax: 361-798-5674

  • Lavaca County Constitutional Court

    Address: 412 N Texana St, PO Box 326, Hallettsville TX 77964
    Phone: 361-798-3612 Fax: 361-798-1610

  • Lavaca County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

    Address: 38 FM 318, PO Box 288, Hallettsville TX 77964
    Phone: 361-798-3945 Fax: 361-798-9541

  • Lavaca County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

    Address: 401 N Lavaca St, PO Box 328, Moulton TX 77975
    Phone: 361-596-8308 Fax: 361-596-8888

  • Lavaca County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3

    Address: PO Box 951, Halletsville TX 77984
    Phone: 361-798-5430 Fax: 361-798-9549

  • Lavaca County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4

    Address: 113 Nelson St, Yoakum TX 77995
    Phone: 361-293-9146 Fax: 361-293-5818

  • Hallettsville Municipal Court

    Address: 101 N Main St, Hallettsville TX 77964
    Phone: 361-798-3681

  • Moulton Municipal Court

    Address: 102 S Main St, PO Box 369, Moulton TX 77975
    Phone: 361-596-7651 Fax: 361-596-7075

  • Shiner Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 308, Shiner TX 77984
    Phone: 361-594-2406

  • Yoakum Municipal Court

    Address: 900 Irvine St, PO Box 738, Yoakum TX 77995
    Phone: 361-293-6321 Fax: 361-293-5589

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