Matagorda County Criminal Court

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

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.

Matagorda County Criminal Court

Matagorda County Criminal Court

I need help for my Matagorda 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 Matagorda 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 Matagorda 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.

Who is the prosecutor for Matagorda County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Matagorda County criminal cases will either be a representative of Matagorda 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.

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

Burden of Proof Requirement

In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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.

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.

Matagorda County Required Court Appearances

In Matagorda 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.

Matagorda County Arraignments

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

Matagorda County Criminal Court locations

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

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.

Matagorda County Criminal Court Locations

  • Matagorda County 23rd District Court

    Address: 1700 7th St, #307, Bay City TX 77414
    Phone: 979-244-7621 Fax: 979-244-7624

  • Matagorda County 130th District Court

    Address: 1700 7th St, #307, Bay City TX 77414
    Phone: 979-244-7621 Fax: 979-244-7624

  • Matagorda County Constitutional Court

    Address: 1700 7th St, #202, Bay City TX 77414
    Phone: 979-244-7680 Fax: 979-244-7688

  • Matagorda County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

    Address: 1700 7th St, #201, Bay City TX 77414
    Phone: 979-244-7667 Fax: 979-244-7696

  • Matagorda County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

    Address: PO Box 656, Matagorda TX 77457
    Phone: 979-863-2035 Fax: 979-863-2122

  • Matagorda County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3

    Address: 405 Commerce St, Palacios TX 77465
    Phone: 361-972-5313 Fax: 361-972-6627

  • Matagorda County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4

    Address: PO Box 508, Markham TX 77456
    Phone: 979-843-5601 Fax: 979-843-5471

  • Matagorda County Justice of the Peace Precinct 6

    Address: 22001 FM 457, Bay City TX 77414
    Phone: 979-245-0358

  • Bay City Municipal Court

    Address: 1824 Sixth St, Bay City TX 77414
    Phone: 979-245-0035 Fax: 979-323-1649

  • Palacios Municipal Court

    Address: 311 Henderson, Palacios TX 77465
    Phone: 361-972-3325

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