Washington County Criminal Court

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

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Washington County, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.

Washington County Criminal Court

Washington County Criminal Court

Where can I get help for my Washington County criminal case?

The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Washington County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.

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 Washington 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.

Mandatory Appearances in Washington County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Washington 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.

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.

What happens in Washington County at an arraignment?

In Washington County the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.

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.

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.

Washington County Prosecutor

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

Washington County Criminal Court locations

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

Washington County Criminal Court Locations

  • Washington County 21st District Court

    Address: 100 E Main, #304, Brenham TX 77833
    Phone: 979-277-6200

  • Washington County 335th District Court

    Address: 100 E Main, #304, Brenham TX 77833
    Phone: 979-277-6200

  • Washington County Constitutional Court

    Address: 100 E Main, #102, Brenham TX 77833
    Phone: 979-277-6200 Fax: 979-277-6278

  • Washington County Court at Law

    Address: 100 E Main, #102, Brenham TX 77833
    Phone: 979-277-6200 Fax: 979-277-6278

  • Washington County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

    Address: 1305 E Blue Bell Rd, #114, Brenham TX 77833
    Phone: 979-277-6260 Fax: 979-277-6296

  • Washington County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

    Address: 4260 Sausage Lane, Chappell Hill TX 77426
    Phone: 979-836-5008 Fax: 979-836-5815

  • Washington County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3

    Address: Phone: 979-277-6200, x132

  • Washington County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4

    Address: 402 N Main St, PO Box 120, Burton TX 77835
    Phone: 979-289-2921 Fax: 979-289-5001

  • Brenham Municipal Court

    Address: 200 W Vulcan, PO Box 1059, Brenham TX 77834
    Phone: 979-337-7599 Fax: 979-337-7504

  • Burton Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 255, Burton TX 77835
    Phone: 979-289-3402

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