The purpose of this information is to help you understand court proceedings and to inform you of your rights as a defendant. Nothing contained herein is intended to be construed as legal advice.
The Municipal Court does not appoint attorneys or lawyers. You may hire an attorney to represent you in court and have the attorney file a letter of representation with the court. If you are a juvenile or a minor and have an attorney representing you in court, you and your parent (or legal guardian) must still appear in Court with your attorney.
Presenting the Case
As in all criminal trials, the State will present its case first by calling witnesses to testify against you. After each prosecution witness has finished his testimony, you will have the right to cross-examine the witness. Your examination must be in the form of questions and you must not argue with the witness. Do not attempt to tell your side of the story at this time. You will have an opportunity to do so later in the trial. After the prosecution has presented its case, you may present your case. You have the right to call any witness who has knowledge of the incident.
If you so desire, you may testify in your own behalf, but as a defendant, you may not be compelled to testify. It is your choice, and your silence cannot be used against you. If you do testify, the State has the right to cross-examine you.
After all testimony is concluded, both sides can make a closing argument. This is your opportunity to tell the court why you think that you are not guilty of the offense charged. The State has the right to present the first and last arguments. The closing argument may be based only on the testimony presented during the trial. As stated previously, if you so desire, you may testify in your own behalf, but cannot be compelled to do so. It is your own choice and your silence will not and cannot be used against you.
Right to Appeal
Sachse Municipal Court is a court of record. A defendant has the right to appeal, from a judgment of conviction, in a municipal court of record as provided by Chapter 30, Texas Government Code, Subchapter V
. To appeal you must file an appeal bond with the municipal court within 10 days of the date of the judgment.