Criminal court is the last place most of think we will ever end up. Still, it is a part of our judiciary system, and understanding how it all works can only benefit us whether or not we are a part of any criminal activity, witness any breach of the law, or know of anyone otherwise involved. Below we take a closer look at how the Texas criminal courts work.
How the Criminal Courts Work in Texas
As is the case in many other states, the state of Texas criminal courts system is made up of a group of courts with different responsibilities working together. To make sense of it all, we will first look at the structure of the courts’ systems, and then at the judicial limitations of each type of court within that system.
The Structure of the Texas Court Systems
The two main groups of courts in Texas include the federal and the Texas state courts system. As far as the Texas state courts are concerned, there is the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. There are different kinds of courts within the Court of Criminal Appeals there is a structure of the Texas Courts of Appeals which includes the Texas district and county courts. The county courts include the Texas justice and municipal courts.
The Judicial Limitations of the Texas Criminal Courts
Currently, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals number 14 in total as they cover the same number of districts (one court per district). With the exception of death penalty cases, all criminal and civil court cases that are appealed are done through one of the 14 criminal appeals courts in the relevant district. Within these 14 districts, there is a total of 420 district trial courts which consider both criminal and civil cases.
In addition to district courts, there is also the Texas County Courts which includes the Texas Justice Courts and Texas Municipal Courts. The Justice Court is essentially a small claims court which hears criminal cases with misdemeanor fines, as well as civil cases not exceeding US$10,000 in fines and some designated functions. The Municipal Court is a local trial court involving fines only criminal cases, a limited number of civil cases, and municipal ordinance violation cases.
Often, the Constitutional and Statutory Trial Courts at the state level handle the largest number of cases. The Constitutional Trial Courts handle appeals cases from the lower courts, including those dealing with misdemeanor cases involving jail time or fines in excess of US$500, as well as cases for juveniles, and civil actions from US$200.00 to US$10,000. Statutory Trial Courts, on the other hand, handles a wide range of appellate, civil, and criminal cases that arise. Importantly, there is a jurisdictional limit of US$1,000,000 in the County Courts in Cameron County.
Contact Us Today for Quality Legal Representation
Admittedly, even with the information above, interpretation of state laws (criminal and otherwise) and navigating the associate court system can prove to be difficult without the assistance of trained legal professionals. Thankfully, we can help. We have a team of competent lawyers for criminal defense in Fort Worth, Texas. If you or your loved ones live in or around the Fort Worth, Texas area and have a criminal case pending, then contact our offices and team of lawyers today. You may contact us via email, telephone, or any of the other official contact information on this site. We are waiting to hear from you!