Shelby County Criminal Court

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

Required Court Appearances in Shelby County

Any required court appearances in Shelby County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.

Arraignments in Shelby County

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

Shelby County Criminal Court

Shelby County Criminal Court

Jury Deliberations in Shelby County

In Shelby 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.

Shelby County Criminal Court hearings

Criminal hearings in Shelby County will take place at the Shelby County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Shelby County Criminal Court Locations.

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 Shelby 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.

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.

Who can help me in Shelby County?

For general information about your case the Shelby County court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.

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.

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

Prosecutor in Shelby County

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

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.

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.

Shelby County Criminal Court Locations

  • Shelby County 123rd District Court

    Address: 200 San Augustine St, Suite B, PO Drawer 1953, Center TX 75935
    Phone: 936-598-4164 Fax: 936-598-3323

  • Shelby County 273rd District Court

    Address: 200 San Augustine St, Suite B, PO Drawer 1953, Center TX 75935
    Phone: 936-598-4164 Fax: 936-598-3323

  • Shelby County Constitutional Court

    Address: 124 Austin St, PO Box 1987, Center TX 75935
    Phone: 936-598-6361 Fax: 936-598-3701

  • Shelby County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

    Address: 518 Nacogdoches St, Center TX 75935
    Phone: 936-598-3735 Fax: 936-590-4161

  • Shelby County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

    Address: 2974 FM 3172, Shelbyville TX 75973
    Phone: 936-598-7797 Fax: 936-598-3146

  • Shelby County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3

    Address: 709 CR 3286, PO Box 503, Joaquin TX 75954
    Phone: 936-269-3527 Fax: 936-269-9695

  • Shelby County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4

    Address: PO Box 121, Tenaha TX 75974
    Phone: 936-248-4510 Fax: 936-598-3146

  • Shelby County Justice of the Peace Precinct 5

    Address: PO Box 285, Timpson TX 75975
    Phone: 936-254-3922 Fax: 936-598-3146

  • Center Municipal Court

    Address: 1020 Shelbyville St, PO Box 1900, Center TX 75935
    Phone: 936-598-3080

  • Joaquin Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 237, Joaquin TX 75954
    Phone: 936-269-3021

  • Tenaha Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 70, Tenaha TX 75974
    Phone: 936-248-5942

  • Timpson Municipal Court

    Address: Phone: 936-254-2421, x15 Fax: 936-254-2933

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