Presenting the Case
A trial in Municipal Court is a fair, impartial and public trial as in any other court. Under Texas law, you can be brought to trial only after a sworn complaint is filed against you. A complaint is the document which alleges what act you are supposed to have committed and that the act is unlawful. You can be tried only for what is alleged in the complaint.
Your Rights in Court
You have the following rights in court:
The right to inspect the complaint before trial and have it read to you at the time of trial.
The right to have your case tried before a jury, unless you waive that right.
The right to hear all testimony introduced against you.
The right to cross-examine or question any witness who testifies against you.
The right to testify on your own behalf.
The right not to testify, if you so desire. If you choose not to testify, your refusal to do so cannot be held against you in determining your innocence or guilt.
You may call witnesses to testify on 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 subpoena request must contain names and addresses of the witnesses. The request must be submitted to the court in writing 10 days prior to the trial date to insure service.
Trial by Jury
Should you choose a jury trial, you have the right to question jurors about their qualifications to hear your case. Should you think a juror might not be fair, impartial or unbiased, you may ask the judge to excuse the juror. The judge will decide whether to grant your request.
You are also permitted to strike three 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, sex or age).
The City of DeSoto, Texas
211 East Pleasant Run Road
DeSoto, TX 75115
Ph: 972.274.CITY (2489)
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