Every person charged with a criminal offense has an absolute right to plead not guilty to the charge and have a trial by jury or a trial before a judge (bench trial). In either case, the State of Texas, through an Assistant District Attorney, must prove a person guilty of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt. In a misdemeanor trial, six jurors hear the evidence presented in the trial. At the felony level, there are 12 jurors. There are three possible phases to each jury trial. They are: voir dire (jury choice), guilt/innocence phase (the time throughout the trial once the proof is presented) and, if the person entered a guilty plea, the punishment phase.
A jury’s call for guilt or innocence should be unanimous (this means all six or twelve individuals should reach a constant conclusion on the guilt or innocence of the person on trial). If the jury doesn’t reach a unanimous finding the court could declare a mistrial (also referred to as a “hung jury”). Then the case would be retried.
A suspect who has been found guilty of an offense could select whether or not the jury or the judge can set his or her penalty.
In a bench trial, the judge determines the guilt or innocence of the suspect and sets the penalty.
Depending on a variety of things, a person may be eligible to have a jail sentence probated. (Probated means that they are not sent to jail but are released and supervised by the Department of Community Supervision.)
The Roles of Various Courtroom Personnel
Judge – Every infringement associated law-breaking Court has an electoral decide that presides over the court. In our system, the decision is to be impartial and is to base selections on the law and proof that’s conferred within the court. For this reason, the judge will not speak with a person accused of a crime or their friends or family. You should ne’er commit to contact the decide nose to nose, on the telephone or in writing. You may speak to then decide if you’re within the court with defense counsel gift.
Assistant District Attorney –An Assistant prosecuting officer maybe an attorney utilized by the prosecuting officer. There are 2 to 3 Assistant District Attorneys allotted to every court. They are responsible for the prosecution of all cases assigned to the court. They conduct jury and bench trials, moreover as creating plea bargaining recommendations. They have no contact with the defendant other than through the defendant’s attorney.
Defense Attorney – The defense lawyer will be either maintained (hired by the suspect) or appointed by the court to represent the defendant. Many of the courts that offer court-appointed attorneys use each non-public lawyers and public defenders. Private lawyers could settle for criminal cases for a fee and are paid by the county. Public defenders are lawyers WHO are utilized directly by the county and are allotted to figure in an exceedingly explicit court on a full-time basis.
Court Coordinator – This person works for the decision and handles the day to day business of the court. The arranger is sometimes to blame for crucial if someone is eligible to receive a court-appointed attorney and is well educated with respect to the policies and procedures of each individual judge. If you have got queries concerning court appearances and the other similar matters regarding your case, you may contact this person.
Court Clerks – The clerks allotted to every court don’t work directly for the decision, but rather, work for the county or district clerk’s office. They process all the paperwork that is generated in the court. They confirm a person’s back time (time already spent in jail) and calculate applicable fines and court prices. Court functionary – This person is the associate worker of the metropolis County Sheriff’s Department. The functionary is to blame for making certain the protection of the court, handling jail prisoners or those taken into custody in the court. They may conjointly decision the docket of the court and inform the decision if a suspect has appeared in court on the right day and time.
Courtroom Do’s And Dont’s
Proper Clothes – Any time you appear in court you should dress as though you are going to a job interview. Men ought to wear pants and a shirt with a collar. A suit, jacket or tie is always appropriate. Women should wear a dress, skirt or pants that are not too tight, too short, or low cut. It is never correct to wear shorts, t-shirts or sandals. Excessive make-up or jewelry should not be worn. In the room itself, it’s never correct to wear a hat, read a newspaper, eat, or chew gum.
Children and Court – Whereas it’s necessary for someone charged with an offense to possess members of the family and/or friends gift for an attempt or sentencing on a case, it is rarely, if ever, beneficial to have small children present. If there’s you are at the court or sentenced to jail time you must not bring kids to the court unless you have got someone to care for your child in the event you are placed in jail. The court may very well contact the CPS (Child protecting Services) to send the kid into custody if a parent goes to jail.