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A trial is an adversary proceeding in which the County Attorney must present evidence to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant is not required to prove his or her innocence or to present any evidence.
Both the defendant and the County Attorney (representing the State of Texas) have the right to a trial by a jury. Sometimes, both sides agree to let a Judge listen to the evidence and decide the case without a jury; this is called a "bench trial". In a jury trial, the jury is the "Trier of fact"; in a bench trial, the judge is. After the evidence is presented, the judge or a jury will determine whether the evidence proved that the defendant committed the crime. In Texas a criminal trial is a "bifurcated" trial. The first phase of the trial is called the guilt/innocence phase of the trial. After the presentation of this phase the jury, or the Judge if it is a bench trial, will only determine whether the defendant is innocent or guilty of the offense(s) alleged in the information. If the defendant is found innocent that is the end of the trial. If the defendant is found to be guilty then the next phase of the trial will be held. This phase of the trail is called the punishment phase. The defendant can elect to have his punishment assessed by the jury or by the Judge.
Criminal CasesA criminal case results when a person is accused of committing a crime. You, as a juror, must decide whether the person charged is guilty or not guilty. The accused person is presumed innocent, and the State, represented by the District or County Attorney, must prove guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt."
Civil CasesA civil case results from a disagreement or dispute between two or more parties. In a civil case, you, as a juror, must answer questions of disputed facts based upon the testimony and evidence admitted by the judge. The answers to these questions are called the verdict.
Please note that our office cannot collect on the following types of checks:
POST-DATED CHECKS:If you willingly accepted a post-dated check in exchange for merchandise or a service, you extended credit to the check writer.THIRD-PARTY CHECKS:Those kinds of checks often prove to be impossible for us to establish which of the other parties involved possessed the intent to commit the theft.CHECKS FOR DEBTS OWED:In most cases checks given to pay pre-existing debts do not meet the requirements for a theft charge.
HIGH RISK CHECKS• TEMPORARY CHECKS: Check that are not personalized are often a risk. They do not have the account owner's name printed on each check. How can you know that the person giving you the check owns the account on which the check is drawn?• LOW NUMBERED CHECKS: 9 out of 10 bad checks bear numbers smaller than 300.• NON-LOCAL CHECK WRITERS: Non-local check writers are much harder for us to identify and prosecute. Out-of-state bank records are almost impossible for us to get.• NON-RESIDENCE ADDRESS ON THE CHECK: A post office box printed on a check as an address rather than a residence has been shown to be a risk factor.• ILLEGIBLE SIGNATURE ON CHECK: A sloppy signature may be an attempt to prevent easy comparison with the signature on the ID.• MULTIPLE CHECKS FROM THE SAME ACCOUNT OR BY THE SAME CHECK WRITER IN THE SAME DAY: The check writer may be stealing as much as possible from you before you find out that the checks will not be honored.• TWO-PARTY CHECKS: It is usually impossible for us to establish which of the parties had intent to deceive.• PRE-SIGNED CHECKS: You cannot swear the signer signed the check and nobody can prove the signer knew the amount for which the check would be written.You are safer if you avoid the checks listed above altogether.
The person who is the alleged victim of family violence, sexual assault, human trafficking or stalking is considered to be the "applicant."