Steps of the Trial Process in Texas

If you have been arrested for a crime, you know that case proceeds beyond the arrest. There are court hearings, sentencing, and possibly even jail time to go through. The criminal trial process in Texas can be daunting, so it’s a good idea to know what to expect.

If you have a criminal defense lawyer on your side, there will be less stress on your part. Your lawyer will handle the hard parts so you can work toward freedom. Here is what you need to know.

Criminal Trial Process: Start to Finish

After a person is arrested, they are taken into police custody. Within 48 hours, the person must appear before a judge. The judge will inform the person of the criminal charges they face, as well as if there is an affidavit supporting the charges. The judge must give the person time to meet with their lawyer as well as set a reasonable bond.

If the person is unable to post the bond and remains in jail, then the prosecutor must file the charges against them within 90 days, depending on the crime. If the person is not in jail, then the prosecutor has two to 10 years to file charges, depending on the type of crime.

The next step is the arraignment. Once the charges are filed, the person must appear before the court so they can be given a copy of the complaint. The person will then have an opportunity to have the charges read in open court, enter a plea, and request a continuance.

Before the trial, there may be other motions and hearings required in order for the case to progress. For example, there may be a bail hearing, in which the judge may place certain conditions on the person to ensure they will return to court if released from custody. If bail is denied, the person is entitled to a hearing within 48 hours.

There may also be suppression hearings, in which a person wants to claim an improper search or seizure so that the evidence may not be used in trial. The court can rule based on the motion itself or upon oral testimony.

Plea negotiations may also occur. Close to 98% of all criminal cases are resolved with some form of plea bargain. The criminal defense attorney will talk to the state’s attorney to try to negotiate a plea deal. This may require the person to plead guilty instead of no contest, as well as waive certain rights. The judge is not obligated to accept the deal.

Next comes the trial. There are two phases: the guilt/innocence phase and the punishment phase. Every defendant has a right to trial by jury or they can opt for a trial with a judge.

Contact Our Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Today

Getting arrested can be a scary situation. What happens next?

The Austin criminal defense lawyers from Granger and Mueller PC can defend you. Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, we can assist you in many ways to seek the most favorable outcome possible. Schedule a consultation today by filling out the online form or calling (512) 474-9999.