This article is an introduction to indictments in Central Texas. It also covers informations. Indictments and informations are the charging documents used by Texas courts to tell a defendant what crimes the State accuses them of committing.
Indictments and Informations
An information is a charging instrument for misdemeanors. An information is signed by a prosecutor and accompanied by a sworn complaint. An indictment is a charging document for felonies, which a grand jury must vote to issue.
The grand jury consists of twelve people. To indict a case, the prosecutor must persuade nine out of the twelve grand jurors that there is probable cause that the defendant is guilty.
When at least nine grand jurors vote to indict a defendant, it is known as a “true bill.” When the prosecutor does not get nine votes, a “no bill” happens. However, if the indictment is no-billed, the prosecutor can present the case to the grand jury again.
An accused person does not have the right to participate in a grand jury proceeding in Texas. The accused does not even have the right to know that a grand jury is considering his case.
An information will be forwarded to a misdemeanor court, typically a county court-at-law. In contrast, a grand jury indictment will usually be sent to a district court.
Comal, Guadalupe, and Hays County Courts
Comal County has five district courts that hold dockets in New Braunfels. Guadalupe County has four district courts in Seguin, and Hays County has five in San Marcos. Each of these counties has multiple county courts-at-law, Justices of the Peace, and specialty courts.
Contact me for a free case review if you are charged with a crime in Comal County or other Central Texas counties such as Hays County, Guadalupe County, Travis County, or Bexar County.