Wheeler County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Wheeler County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Wheeler County.
I need help for my Wheeler 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 Wheeler 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 Wheeler 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.
What if I can’t afford an attorney?
The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.
Required Court Appearances in Wheeler County
Any required court appearances in Wheeler 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.
Jury Deliberations in Wheeler County
In Wheeler 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.
Right to Jury Trial
For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.
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.
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 Wheeler 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.
Wheeler County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Wheeler County will take place at the Wheeler County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Wheeler County Criminal Court Locations.
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.
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.
Arraignments in Wheeler County
During an arraignment in Wheeler 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 Wheeler 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 Wheeler County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Who is the prosecutor for Wheeler County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Wheeler County criminal cases will either be a representative of Wheeler 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.
Wheeler County Criminal Court Locations
Wheeler County 31st District Court
Address: 401 Main St, PO Box 528, Wheeler TX 79096
Phone: 806-826-5931 Fax: 806-826-5503
Wheeler County Constitutional Court
Address: 401 Main St, PO Box 465, Wheeler TX 79096
Phone: 806-826-5544 Fax: 806-826-3282
Wheeler County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1
Address: 115 E Texas, PO Box 452, Wheeler TX 79096
Phone: 806-826-5768 Fax: 806-826-0610
Wheeler County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2
Address: 122 West 2nd, PO Box 47, Shamrock TX 79079
Phone: 806-256-2552 Fax: 806-256-2751
Shamrock Municipal Court
Address: 116 W 2nd St, Shamrock TX 79079
Wheeler Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 452, Wheeler TX 79096