Swisher County Criminal Court

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

Swisher County Required Court Appearances

In Swisher 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.

Swisher County Criminal Court

Swisher County Criminal Court

Swisher County Arraignments

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

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.

Who can help me in Swisher County?

For general information about your case the Swisher 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.

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.

Swisher County Criminal Court locations

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

Jury Deliberations in Swisher County

In Swisher 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.

Can I appeal a guilty verdict?

If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.

Prosecutor in Swisher County

In Swisher County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Swisher County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Texas. For the most part, the prosecutor in Swisher County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with 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 Swisher County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

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.

Swisher County Criminal Court Locations

  • Swisher County 64th District Court

    Address: 119 S Maxwell, Tulia TX 79088
    Phone: 806-995-3294 Fax: 806-995-4121

  • Swisher County 242nd District Court

    Address: 119 S Maxwell, Tulia TX 79088
    Phone: 806-995-3294 Fax: 806-995-4121

  • Swisher County Constitutional Court

    Address: 119 S Maxwell, Tulia TX 79088
    Phone: 806-995-3294 Fax: 806-995-4121

  • Swisher County Justice of the Peace

    Address: 310 W Broadway, PO Box 73, Tulia TX 79088
    Phone: 806-995-4407 Fax: 806-995-3371

  • Happy Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 216, Happy TX 79042
    Phone: 806-558-2121

  • Kress Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 236, Kress TX 79052
    Phone: 806-684-2525

  • Tulia Municipal Court

    Address: 127 SW 2nd St, #300, PO Box 847, Tulia TX 79088
    Phone: 806-995-3547 Fax: 806-995-2331

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