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Depicted are historical figures from New Braunfels' past.
Court Rules

ARRAIGNMENT

The judge will explain your rights and options in court. You will have the opportunity to talk with the prosecutor to see if a plea bargain is available. You are not required to talk to the prosecutor as you have the right to remain silent. The judge will be asking you for a plea of either guilty, no contest or not guilty. All individuals who plead not guilty are required to attend a pre-trial conference.

PRE-TRIAL CONFERENCE

  • You will have the opportunity to have a conference with the prosecutor who may offer various sentencing options including deferred disposition or a driving safety course in lieu of going to trial.
    • You are not required to talk with the prosecutor as you have the right to remain silent and not say anything at all.
    • You do not have to accept a plea bargain if one is offered as you have a right to a trial.
    • If you agree to a plea bargain, either deferred disposition (probation) or a driving safety course (defensive driving) be prepared to pay court costs and a fee for either if granted.
  • Any motions, such as a motion for discovery must be filed with the court seven (7) days before your pre-trial hearing. Hearings on motions are not conducted on the date of pre-trial, they will be set on a separate docket at a later date.

CONTINUANCES

If you need to request a continuance to have your case re-set to another date, you must put the request in writing stating the reason for the continuance and mail, fax or deliver the request to the court. The request will be submitted to the judge to determine if your continuance will be granted. If you do not submit your request in writing according to the schedule noted below, your request will not be granted.

  • If you have an arraignment hearing, uncontested docket hearing, show cause hearing, or pre-trial hearing scheduled, you must submit your request to the court two days before your scheduled date.
  • If you have a trial before the judge scheduled, you must submit your request to the court two days before your trial date.
  • If you have a jury trial scheduled, you must submit your request to the court three days before your trial date.



THE TRIAL

No Plea Bargains Will Be Offered The Day Of Trial.

A trial in municipal court is a fair, impartial and public trial as in any other court. You have the following rights in court:

  1. The right to have an attorney represent you; (The municipal court is not required to appoint an attorney for you.)
  2. The right to have a notice of the complaint not later than the day before any proceedings;

  1. The right to inspect the complaint before trial, and have it read to you at trial;
  2. The right to have your case tried before a jury, if you so desire;
  3. The right to hear all testimony introduced against you;
  4. The right to cross-examine witnesses who testify against you;
  5. The right to testify in your behalf;

  1. The right not to testify, if you so desire; if you choose not to testify, your refusal to do so may not be held against you in determining your innocence or guilt;
  2. You may call witnesses to testify on your behalf at trial, and have the court issue a subpoena (a court order) to any witness to ensure his or her appearance at trial. (The request for a subpoena must be in writing, directed to the Clerk of the Court at least three weeks prior to your trial date, and you must give the name, current address, and telephone number of each witness that you want subpoenaed.)



  • If you are convicted at trial or pled guilty or no contest, you may appeal.
  • If you choose not to appeal, be prepared to pay a fine and costs.
  • If you are acquitted (found not guilty), there are no costs.




GENERAL RULES OF ATTIRE AND CONDUCT IN COURT



ALL PEOPLE IN THE COURTROOM MUST BE DRESSED

APPROPRIATELY AND RESPECTFULLY.

 

UNACCEPTABLE ATTIRE INCLUDES BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO:

 

  1. Shorts and cut-offs
  2. Muscle shirts, clothing with offensive, vulgar, racist, sexist, obscene, or suggestive words, slogans, depictions, or pictures including grotesque creatures
  3. Mini-skirts or halter-tops
  4. Clothing that is dirty, torn, or ragged
  5. Clothing that is too tight or too short; and
  6. Hats

If you are not dressed appropriately, you will be asked to leave. You will be rescheduled for another court appearance and directed to dress appropriately.

CONDUCT IN COURT:

Pro se parties (individuals representing themselves without an attorney) should be prepared to present their cases in a proper manner. The Court cannot protect or represent you, nor may the Court instruct you on proper court procedure, evidence, rules, or how to present and prove your case. If you are unprepared, unaware, unknowledgeable about how to present your case, you may lose.      

  1. Be on time. The courtroom will open 30 minutes prior to docket call.
  2. Do not argue with the Court. However, you should always seek to correct any factual misunderstanding.
  3. Address the Court as “Judge” or “Your Honor.”
  4. Address opposing parties, counsel, witnesses, and Court Officers as “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” “Miss,” “Officer” and so on. Do not use first names, except with children 14 years of age or younger.
  5. Do not read newspapers, magazines, books or any similar item in the courtroom during proceedings.
  6. Do not talk at the same time as the Court, counsel, witnesses or other court personnel.
  7. Racist, sexist, obscene or profane language or gestures are prohibited unless it is pertinent to a case and is elicited and quoted from facts in the case.
  8. Do not enter and depart the courtroom excessively.
  9. Do nothing to disturb or distract the court, counsel, witnesses or court personnel. If a child becomes noisy, you should remove the child from the courtroom until that situation is resolved.

10.  Do not approach the Judge’s bench or Clerk’s desk without permission. Remain one foot from the Judge’s bench.  Do not rest arms or hands on the bench.

11.  Leave all purses, bags, brief cases and other similar items, at the defense table when you are called to the Judge’s bench.

12.  Have all paperwork, Driver’s License, Insurance, evidence and similar items ready when called to approach the Judge’s bench.

13.  Rise when the Judge enters and remain standing until the Judge or Bailiff announces, “Be seated,” or until the Judge is seated. Rise when the Judge exits the courtroom.

14.  No food or drinks are allowed in the courtroom.

 

MUTE ALL PHONES AND PAGERS WHILE IN THE COURTROOM.  NO PHONE CALLS ALLOWED IN THE COURTROOM.