Criminal Court Process

 The Initial Detention and Arrest

Criminal charges typically begin when someone is detained, investigated, and then arrested ‘on site’ for a criminal offense in Williamson County. For example, someone may be stopped for speeding, investigated for DWI, and arrested for DWI. Or the police may respond to a 911 telephone call and arrest someone for Assault with Bodily Injury Family Violence.

Sometimes the detention itself can become a legal issue in the case. For example, the length of detention in a traffic stop can become a problem if the person was detained for an unreasonable amount of time before illegal drugs were found if no ‘probable cause’ or ‘reasonable suspicion’ existed to justify the continued detention beyond the reason for the original stop.

Getting Someone Out of Jail

When someone is arrested in Williamson County they are taken to the Williamson County Jail, located at the corner of 4th & Rock St. in Georgetown (943-1365/1366). If they were arrested on an open warrant, the amount of bail has already been determined by the magistrate or judge who signed the warrant. If they were arrested ‘on site,’ the amount of bail will be determined the next morning when they are “magistrated.” This term refers to the process whereby someone appears before a magistrate, is informed of the charge, of their basic legal rights, and of the amount of their bond/bail. The magistrate will also inform them of any specific conditions of their being released on bond, such as having an ignition interlock installed on their automobile (required in all subsequent DWI cases) or avoiding contact with a particular person (in most assault cases). The amount of bail set is typically based upon the severity of the charge(s) and the person’s prior criminal history.

Once in custody, a defendant cannot get out of jail until either their bond has been paid or their case has been completely resolved through a dismissal, a plea bargain agreement, or a trial. ‘Bail’ is an amount of money that must be paid to the county to ensure that someone has a financial incentive to appear in court at a later date. If the amount of bail is $2500 for example, a family member or friend may either pay this amount in full to the county, or contract with a local bail bondsman to pay it for them for a fee (typically about 10-15% of the total bond). If the bail is paid by the defendant’s family or friends it will be returned to them, minus an administrative fee, once the case is resolved and no further court appearances are required.

This is a list of most of the licensed bail bondsmen serving Williamson County:

1st Call Bail Bonds
(512) 930-1234
A+ Bail Bonds
(512) 930-2245
A1 Bail Bond
(512) 635-4368
A Advantage Bail Bond
(512) 930-1717
ABC Bail Bond Service
(512) 635-4368
Anytime Bail Bond
(512) 635-4368
B & V Bail Bond
(512) 635-4368
C & J Bail Bonds
(512) 635-4368
Discount Bail Bonds
(512) 869-5452
Emergency Bail Bonds
(512) 930-0911
Freedom Bail Bonds
(512) 635-4368
Give You a Brake Bail Bond
(512) 868-5220
I’ll Get U Out – Yo Te Saco
(512) 868-1652
Lone Star Bail Bond
(512) 930-0007
Off the Hook Bail Bonds
(512) 869-3039
Reliable Bail Bond
(512) 635-4368
True Blue Bail Bonds
(512) 635-4368

The Initial Court Date

Most people are released from jail within 24 hours of their arrest after someone pays their bond. Upon being released, the person’s property will be returned to them (minus anything held in evidence), and they should be provided with notice of their initial court date (typically a few weeks later). If the arrest was for a misdemeanor, they can avoid attending the initial court date by simply hiring an attorney before the first court date. The attorney can then reschedule the initial court date to allow time to obtain ‘discovery’ (the police report, video tapes, 911 tapes, photographs, etc.), and should review it with you to prepare a defense before going to court.

In Williamson County, misdemeanor cases are prosecuted by the Williamson County Attorney and are set in either County Court at Law #1, County Court at Law #2, or County Court at Law #3. Each of these courts have different judges and prosecutors, typically three prosecutors per court.

In Williamson County, felony cases are prosecuted by the Williamson County District Attorney and are set in the 26th District Court, 277th District Court, or the 368th District Court. Each of these courts have different judges and prosecutors, typically three prosecutors per court.

The Pre-Trial Intervention Program

The Williamson County Attorney has a special six-month program, called the Pre-Trial Intervention Program, for many first-time offenders charged with a Class-A or Class-B misdemeanor that results in a dismissal of the charge if successfully completed. However, in order to be considered for this program, you must apply through your attorney within a certain period of time. If accepted, you must pay a $360 fee, perform 40 hours of community service, take some classes, submit to drug testing, and have an ignition interlock installed on your vehicle (required only in DWI cases), after which the charge will be dismissed. Then, you may petition the court for a complete expunction of the charge (unless it is a DWI) when the law permits you to do so. An expunction is a process whereby an arrest and charge are completely removed from your criminal history and all related records are ordered destroyed.

Free Consultation

To schedule a free initial consultation with us to discuss your case, simply call (512) 635-4368 or click on the ‘Contact Us‘ link to complete a short form that will be emailed to us. There is no fixed time limit for a free consultation, but they generally last about 15-20 minutes. At this meeting we will discuss the basic facts of your case, any possible legal defenses, and a basic strategy for handling your case. We can also discuss payment options/plans if you are unable to pay our fee in full. Once you make the decision to hire, you will need to remain at the office for about an hour to complete the necessary paperwork and review several documents that we will provide you. When you leave our office, you will have a complete packet of useful information, you will know exactly what the process will be, and you should feel confident in knowing that you have an experienced attorney to navigate you through the process and help you with your case.