San Jacinto County Criminal Court

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

I need help for my San Jacinto 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 San Jacinto 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 San Jacinto 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.

San Jacinto County Arraignments

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

San Jacinto County Criminal Court

San Jacinto 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.

Jury Deliberations in San Jacinto County

In San Jacinto County, jury deliberations will take place in a jury trial after the prosecution and defense have presented their cases and rested. At this point, the judge will provide a list of instructions to the jury about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and what verdict options are available for them to decide. The jury will be sent to a private room to discuss the evidence presented in the case and attempt to reach a unaminous decision. When a unaminous decision is reached, the jury will inform the judge that they have reached a verdict and will return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read allowed. In the event that the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury results in a deadlock and a mistrial is declared.

San Jacinto County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in San Jacinto County, the prosecutor will be a representative of San Jacinto County. The San Jacinto 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.

Mandatory Appearances in San Jacinto County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in San Jacinto 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.

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.

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 San Jacinto County criminal case hearings take place?

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

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 request a Plea Agreement?

In San Jacinto County you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in a plea agreement.

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.

San Jacinto County Criminal Court Locations

  • San Jacinto County 258th District Court

    Address: 1 State Hwy 150, #4, Coldspring TX 77331
    Phone: 936-653-2909 Fax: 936-653-4659

  • San Jacinto County 411th District Court

    Address: 1 State Hwy 150, #4, Coldspring TX 77331
    Phone: 936-653-2909 Fax: 936-653-4659

  • San Jacinto County Constitutional Court

    Address: 1 State Hwy 150, #2, Coldspring TX 77331
    Phone: 936-653-2324 Fax: 936-653-8312

  • San Jacinto County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

    Address: 111 State Hwy 150, #A-2, Coldspring TX 77331
    Phone: 936-653-4578 Fax: 936-653-5604

  • San Jacinto County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

    Address: 1000 N Byrd Ave, #5, Shepherd TX 77371
    Phone: 936-628-6477 Fax: 936-628-3953

  • San Jacinto County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3

    Address: PO Box 341, Coldspring TX 77331
    Phone: 281-592-4400 Fax: 281-592-4410

  • San Jacinto County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4

    Address: 225 Boat Launch Rd, PO Box 63, Point Blank TX 77364
    Phone: 936-377-2131 Fax: 936-377-3453

  • Shepherd Municipal Court

    Address: 11020 Hwy 150, Shepherd TX 77371
    Phone: 936-628-3305

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