Information for Trials
You must be on time for the judge or for any other court appointment. If you are late, your case might be postponed or you could be required to post bond for new date. The judge cannot speak to you about your case except when your case is being heard and when the other party is present. Court staff will help you with questions such as when your hearing is scheduled, or whether the judge has made a decision on your case. Staff cannot give you legal advice or recommendations on what you should do.
You are entitled to hear all testimony introduced against you. You have a right to cross-examine any witness who testifies against you. You have a right to testify on your own behalf. You also have a constitutional right not to testify. If you choose not to testify your refusal cannot and will not be used against you in determining your guilt or innocence. However, if you do choose to testify, the Prosecutor will have the right to cross-examine you. If you decide to represent yourself, you must follow the same Texas Rules of Evidence and Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. You may call witnesses to testify on your behalf. You have the right to have the Court issue subpoenas for witnesses to ensure their appearance at trial. Requests must be made well in advance of your trial and must be in writing.The State will present its case first by calling witnesses to testify against you. After each prosecution witness has finished giving testimony, you will have the right to cross-examine the witness. Your examination must be in the form of a question about their testimony. Do not argue with the witness; you will have an opportunity to tell your version of the facts later in the trial.
After prosecution has presented its case, you may present your case. You have the right to call witnesses of your choosing. It is at this point that you may testify on your own behalf if you desire. At a jury trial, you will have an opportunity to voir-dire the jury panel. The voir-dire is a preliminary examination to determine the competency of a juror. In order to accomplish this the defendant and the prosecutor will have the opportunity to ask the panel of twelve jurors questions and strike up to three jurors each. The panel of twelve will become a jury panel of six to decide the case. You will also have the opportunity to summarize your case to the jury after all the evidence has been heard. At that time, you may present any arguments which are based on the evidence presented during the trial in order to show your innocence.
The judgement or verdict will be based on the facts and evidence presented during the trial. Only evidence admitted by the Court and the testimony of witnesses who are under oath can be considered. The judgement will be given by the Judge or the Jury, depending on the trial requested by the defendant. If you are found not guilty, the case ends and you will be acquitted. If you are found guilty, you will be assessed a fine.Appeal
We are a court of record. In order to appeal a decision of this court you must order a complete record. We will not record these proceedings unless you make a written request for a recording prior to trial.