Trial

A trial in municipal court is a fair, impartial, and public trial as in any other court.

Complaints
Under Texas law, you may be brought to trial only after a sworn complaint is filed against you. A complaint is a document that alleges the act you are supposed to have committed and that the act is unlawful. You may be tried only for what is alleged in the complaint.

Your Rights
You have the following rights in court:
  • The right to have notice of the complaint no later than 24 hours prior to trial
  • The right to have your case tried before a jury, if you so desire
  • The right to hear all testimony introduced against you
  • The right to cross-examine witnesses who testify against you
  • The right to testify in your behalf
  • The right not to testify, if you so desire; if you choose not to testify, your refusal to do so my not be held against you in determining your innocence or guilt
  • The right to call witnesses to testify in your behalf at the trial and have the court issue a subpoena (a court order) to any witnesses to ensure their appearance at the trial; the request for a subpoena may be oral or in writing
Jurors
If you choose to have the case tried before a jury, you have the right to question jurors about their qualifications to hear your case. If you think that a juror will not be fair, impartial, or unbiased, you may ask the judge to excuse the juror.

Excusing Jurors
The judge will decide whether or not to grant your request. In each jury trial, you are also permitted to strike 3  members of the jury panel for any reason you choose, except an illegal reason (such as a strike based solely upon a person’s race or gender).