How long does it take for a felony case to go to trial in Texas?

Asked by: Ismael Bode  |  Last update: July 27, 2022
Score: 4.9/5 (29 votes)

Trial. According to the Texas felony process, trial will commence within 180 days of the arrest. You and your attorney will have the opportunity before trial to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution. The plea bargain can allow you to plead guilty to lesser charges, thus minimizing your punishment.

How many felony cases go to trial in Texas?

Will your Criminal Charges go to Trial? According to the Texas Office of Court Administration, less than 2 percent of felony criminal charges go to trial, and less than 1 percent of misdemeanor criminal charges go to trial, on average.

How long does it take to get a trial date in Texas?

In federal court it is pretty routine to have a case set for trial within 12-18 months of filing. In state courts, however, the amount of time it takes to get to trial can vary widely county to county.

How long can you be held in jail before trial in Texas?

When you are taken into custody, the police can legally hold you for up to 72 hours without filing charges. Expunction of Texas charges never filed may sound uncommon but surprisingly it is not.

Do most criminal cases in Texas go to trial by jury?

Although a minority of cases go to trial in Texas, criminal defendants have a right to a jury trial. If you exercise your right, the jury will include 12 members for felony cases in District Court and six members for misdemeanor cases.

How long does a felony charge take to fight? | Marietta Criminal Defense Attorney

28 related questions found

Why do most cases never go to trial?

It's no secret that the overwhelming majority of criminal cases never reach trial. The prosecution may dismiss charges, perhaps because of a lack of evidence. Sometimes prosecutors decide not to refile charges after a felony defendant prevails at the preliminary hearing.

How long after indictment is trial in Texas?

According to the Texas code of criminal procedure, arraignments usually take place two days after an indictment. The gap in time allows a person, the accused, to secure counsel and to provide time for the arraignment appearance to be set.

How long after arraignment is trial?

If the defendant is in custody at the arraignment, the trial must start within 30 days of arraignment or plea, whichever is later. If the defendant is not in custody at the arraignment, the trial must start within 45 days of arraignment or plea, whichever is later.

How long can you be held in jail without seeing a judge?

As a general rule: If you're placed in custody, your "speedy trial" rights typically require the prosecutor to decide charges within 72 hours. Many states adhere to this 72-hour limit. Sometimes, no charges are filed, and you will be released.

How long does a court hearing last?

A typical preliminary hearing may take from a half-hour to two hours, while some only last a few minutes. Trials can last hours, days, or weeks. No jury. A judge (not a jury) will conduct a preliminary hearing.

How long does the state of Texas have to indict you on a felony charge?

For crimes not explicitly listed in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 12.01, a general statute of limitations applies to the indictment: Three years for felonies; and. Two years for misdemeanors.

What is a status hearing in a felony case in Texas?

A status conference in a criminal case is a meeting between the prosecuting attorney and defense attorney to discuss the status of the case, facilitate the exchange of information, and negotiate regarding a possible resolution. The judge may also be involved in the meeting, depending on the judge and the court.

Why do trials take so long to happen?

The more complicated cases take longer to prepare for trial. The number of parties and issues involved also affect the length of litigation. Virtually all lawyers handle many cases at the same time and thus the schedules of the various lawyers involved play a role in the time it takes for a case to get to trial.

How long does the district attorney have to file charges in Texas?


If Amy is not in jail, then generally, the prosecutor has up to 2 years from the date of the offense to file misdemeanor charges. Otherwise the case is dismissed and can never be prosecuted. In a felony case, depending upon the specific offense, the prosecutor may have up to 5, 7, or 10 years to file charges.

How long does a criminal investigation take?

Quicker cases can take a few months, while more complex ones can take a year or more. Although all criminal defendants are guaranteed the right to a speedy trial, there are some cases in which having the process speed along may not be a positive development.

Does every criminal case go court?

Not all offenders are dealt with in court, the police do have a number of options in dealing with minor crimes that are called Out-of-Court disposals.

How long can police hold you before charging?

Generally, the standard time the police can hold you for is 24 hours until they will need to charge you with a criminal offence or release you. In exceptional circumstances, they can apply to hold you for longer, up to 36 or 96 hours. This is usually if you are suspected of more serious crimes such a murder.

What happens if the defendant fails to appear in court?

If the defendant is an individual who fails to appear 10 the court may: proceed in the defendant's absence; or. adjourn and issue a warrant for the defendant's arrest.

How long can a jail hold you on a warrant from another county in Texas?

A: Generally, the arresting county is going to transport the person to the original county where the FTA occurred so they can appear in court. The county can hold the person up to 30 days before they transport them.

What comes after arraignment?

The pre-trial conference and hearing are generally the first time, following the arraignment, which an individual must appear in court again. During this court date, a criminal defense attorney and prosecutors will discuss whether or not a case can possibly be disposed without trial, through an agreement.

What is considered a speedy trial in Texas?

Texas case law states that a delay of eight months or more from being accused until trial is sufficient to meet that threshold. Once eight months has elapsed, a reviewing court is forced to conduct the balancing test formulated in Barker.

What are the steps in the Texas criminal justice process?

Step by step criminal justice system in Texas
  1. Investigation. Before a policeman can take you into custody, they have to investigate a crime and ensure they have cause to arrest you. ...
  2. Arrest. ...
  3. Arraignment. ...
  4. Bail or bond. ...
  5. Indictment. ...
  6. Pretrial hearings. ...
  7. Plea bargaining. ...
  8. Trial.

What does arraignment mean in Texas?

Considered the first formal step of the criminal court process, an arraignment is a pre-trial court hearing in which you are formally charged.

Is it better to go to trial?

Going to trial also has several advantages. For example, going to trial buys the criminal defendant more time to prepare his or her defense and spend time with family before potentially going to jail. Going to trial and receiving an acquittal is the only way for an innocent person to have justice.

Why do prosecutors sometimes choose not to prosecute criminal cases?

Prosecutors may decline to press charges because they think it unlikely that a conviction will result. No matter what the prosecutor's personal feelings about the case, the prosecutor needs legally admissible evidence sufficient to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.