WHAT IS A MISDEMEANOR?
A misdemeanor is any "lesser" criminal act in Texas. Misdemeanors are generally punished less severely than felonies. Typically Class C misdemeanors are punished with monetary fines or community service. Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to 180 days in the county jail and up to $2000 fine. Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $4000 fine. All confinement for a misdemeanor is in the county jail.
WHAT IS A FELONY?
There are 5 types of felonies in Texas. From most to least severe, they are: Capital, 1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree, and state jail. Crimes that are felonies are more serious than misdemeanors . Convictions for felonies carry higher fines. They also involve longer jail sentences.
WHAT IS A COMPLAINT & INFORMATION?
The Complaint is a sworn statement by a credible individual stating the accused person committed a criminal offense. The Information is a document signed by the prosecutor and filed with the court as the official charge against the accused. These are typically what is filed in misdemeanor cases.
WHAT IS AN INDICTMENT?
An indictment is the charging instrument for felony crimes. An indictment must be voted on a by a grand jury. The grand jury consists of twelve persons. To get an indictment, the prosecutor must persuade nine out of the twelve grand jurors that probable cause exists that the defendant is guilty.
WHAT IS DISCOVERY?
Discovery is the evidence the State has in the criminal case. Discovery may include photos, videos, lab results, offense reports, witness statements, physical evidence, etc. There are federal and state constitutional and procedural requirements and guidelines the prosecutors must follow in providing the discovery to the defense counsel.
WHAT IS A PRE-TRIAL HEARING?
A pretrial hearing is a meeting of the defense, the prosecution, and the judge before a trial commences. During this hearing, a range of documents may be presented, evidence can be presented and excluded, and more. It occurs before the preliminary hearing, but many things can be done at this time, such as:
The judge will decide a range of motions, such as which evidence can be presented and which cannot.
The judge can determine if there is fair cause for a trial.
Procedural matters concerning how the trial will proceed.
WHAT TYPES OF BONDS ARE THERE?
A "Cash Bond" is a contractual agreement between the accused and the Court having jurisdiction over the offense, ensuring that the defendant will appear in court. The defendant posts the dollar amount of the Bond, which will be returned to him upon his appearance in court
A "Surety Bond" is a contractual agreement between the accused, a Bail Bondsman and the Court having jurisdiction over the offense, ensuring that the defendant will appear in court. The defendant pays a fee to the Bail Bondsman, who in turn posts the dollar amount of the Bond, which will be returned to the Bail Bondsman upon appearance of the defendant in court.
A "Personal Bond" is a contractual agreement between the accused and the Court having jurisdiction over the offense, ensuring that the defendant is not required to post the dollar amount of the Bond, rather is released on his own recognizance. However, if the defendant fails to appear in court, the defendant is then indebted to the court for the amount of the Personal Bond.
Here is a list of the approved Bonding Companies in Potter County.
12.44 - AM I ENTITLED TO ONE?
Section 12.44 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows for the reduction in sentence in some cases. You are NOT entitled to one. The prosecutor's Office in their discretion determines, based on the specific facts of your case, whether or not to offer one.