Zavala County Criminal Court

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

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.

Zavala County Required Court Appearances

In Zavala 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.

Zavala County Criminal Court

Zavala County Criminal Court

Who can help me in Zavala County?

For general information about your case the Zavala 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.

What is Jury Deliberation?

After both the prosecution and defense have presented their cases, the judge in the case will provide instructions to the jury about what they must decide. The jury will be dismissed to the jury room where they will deliberate about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. After reaching a unaminous decision, they return their decision to the court where it is read aloud in the courtroom. If the jury is unable to reach a unaminous decision, the jury is deadlocked, also known as a hung jury, in which a mistrial will be declared.

Zavala County Arraignments

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

Zavala County Criminal Court locations

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

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.

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

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.

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 Zavala 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.

Who is the prosecutor for Zavala County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Zavala County criminal cases will either be a representative of Zavala 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.

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.

Zavala County Criminal Court Locations

  • Zavala County 293rd District Court

    Address: 200 E Uvalde St, PO Box 704, Crystal City TX 78839
    Phone: 830-374-3456 Fax: 830-374-2632

  • Zavala County 365th District Court

    Address: 200 E Uvalde St, PO Box 704, Crystal City TX 78839
    Phone: 830-374-3456 Fax: 830-374-2632

  • Zavala County Constitutional Court

    Address: 200 E Uvalde St, #7, Crystal City TX 78839
    Phone: 830-374-2331 Fax: 830-374-5955

  • Zavala County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1-1A

    Address: PO Box 473, Batesville TX 78829
    Phone: 830-376-4609 Fax: 830-376-9021

  • Zavala County Justice of the Peace Precinct 2

    Address: 319 N 1st Ave, #4, Crystal City TX 78839
    Phone: 830-374-2116

  • Zavala County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3

    Address: 319 N 1st Ave, #5, Crystal City TX 78839
    Phone: 830-374-5197 Fax: 830-374-2895

  • Zavala County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4

    Address: PO Box 555, La Pryor, TX 78872
    Phone: 830-365-4494 Fax: 830-365-4702

  • Crystal City Municipal Court

    Address: 101 E Dimmitt St, Crystal City TX 78839
    Phone: 830-374-2923

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