Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 1.05 states that a defendant cannot be brought to trial until they are formally charged with an offense in a legal complaint. The complaint is a sworn document which alleges the offense the defendant is alleged to have committed and that your conduct or act was unlawful. Only the offense(s) alleged in the complaint may be brought to trial.
The Cleburne Municipal Court of Record conducts trials in accordance with the due process requirements of the United States Constitution, Texas Constitution, and the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Defendants may represent themselves in a court of law and act as a pro se defendant. "PRO SE" is a Latin term that means the defendant will be representing him or herself at the trial proceedings. Defendants may also choose to be represented by an attorney at their trial.
If a defendant elects to have a Bench Trial, the presiding Judge of the Municipal Court of Record will consider all the evidence and decide the case.
The defendant and prosecutor will present his or her evidence to the Judge. The Judge then applies the appropriate law, weighs the evidence, and renders a judgment of guilty or not guilty. If the defendant is found to be "not guilty" then the case will be dismissed with no fine/fees due to the court or state. If the defendant is found "guilty" then the Judge of the court will set the fine and order the defendant to pay the fine and court costs when the defendant is found guilty.
If a defendant elects to have a Trial by Jury, then six persons who reside in the City of Cleburne (petit jurors) will be summoned and selected to appear for service.
The Prosecuting Attorney for the City of Cleburne and the defendant will have the opportunity to question the potential jurors to determine if there are any biases or prejudices present which could prevent a fair and impartial trial. The defendant and the prosecutor may strike (eliminate) three potential jurors during voir dire. The jurors will then be selected and the trial begins.
The defendant and prosecutor will present his or her evidence to the Judge and jury. The Judge then explains the laws to the jury. After hearing both sides, the jury then goes into deliberation and weighs the evidence presented by both parties. Once they return to the courtroom they would have a verdict of guilt or innocence. If the verdict is guilty, a fine/fee will be assessed within the penalty range established by law. The defendant then will pay the fine/fee to the Court. If the defendant is determined to be "not guilty" then there are no costs or fines owed by the defendant.
If you have any questions, please contact the Cleburne Municipal Court of Record at 817-645-0925.