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City of Coleman, Texas

The Friendliest Little Town in Texas!

 

Know Your Rights


You have many rights as a defendant in Municipal Court

  • Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
  • The State must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • You may remain silent and cannot be compelled to testify.
  • You have the right to be represented by an attorney.
  • If you chose not to have an attorney, no attorney will be appointed for you.
  • You have the right to a jury trial, and if you are found guilty to have the jury assess punishment.  You may waive this right and request a trial before the judge, commonly called a "Bench Trial" if you prefer.

Court Rules

In accordance with Article 45.203(b) Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, the following Court Rules are adopted:

  • All persons shall dress appropriately for court procedings.
  • Inappropriate attire includes:
    • Shorts
    • Tank tops or muscle shirts
    • Flip flops
    • Pajamas
    • Pants that sag so as to expose underwear
  • No hats or sunglasses may be worn in the courtroom.
  • Obscene language is not permitted.

Pretrial Procedures

This court utilizes pretrial conferences to allow a meeting between the interested parties and seek to resolve issues prior to trial. You can expect the following to occur:

  • The judge will call your case.
  • You will be presented with a copy of the complaint. The "complaint" is the official document charging you with a criminal offense and is different than the citation you were issued.
  • You will have an opportunity to meet with the prosecutor, discuss the case and review evidence.
  • If you come to an agreement, it will be presented to the judge. If you cannot come to an agreement, your case will be set for trial.

Trial Procedures

This is a Texas Criminal Trial Court. As such, all parties must follow the Rules of Evidence and other procedures applicable to criminal trials in Texas. For those unfamiliar with criminal trial procedures, several links are available on this page to assist you. At trial, you have the following rights:

  • You have the right to a jury trial.
  • You have the right to have the complaint read to you.
  • You have the right to hear all testimony offered against you.
  • You have the right to cross examine witnesses.
  • You may call witnesses to testify for you.
  • You have the right to testify on your own behalf, or not to testify.
  • If you do not testify, no one may use that against you.

Other rights may also apply that are specific to certain circumstances. If you have questions about your rights, or other questions pertaining to your case, please seek the advice of an attorney. This office cannot give legal advice.