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It is the duty of the District Attorney's Office to prosecute all felony and misdemeanor cases that are committed in Midland County. Our job is to see that justice is done. Our office handles cases submitted to us by a law enforcement agency.
We handle the cases through trial and all appeal proceedings. We do not represent any one individual. Instead, we represent the State of Texas and the citizens of Midland County.
Please remember to dress appropriately for court. The following are not appropriate:
For men, nice jeans or slacks with polo shirts or button down shirts are appropriate. For ladies, skirts, slacks or nice jeans, blouses, and dresses are appropriate.
In most cases you should report the crime to your local law enforcement agency. If your report is an emergency, call 911. If the crime occurred in the city limits, report the crime to the police department.
The City of Midland Police Department Telephone Reporting Unit's phone number is 432-685-7108. If the crime is committed outside the city limits in Midland County, contact the Midland County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division by calling 432-688-4600.
Any crime should be reported to your local law enforcement agency. The only direct filings the District Attorney's Office accepts are for hot checks.
Texas law requires action by the grand jury in most instances before a felony case can be brought to trial. If the grand jury believes that there is probable cause to prove that a person has committed a felony, it votes to issue an indictment. A no-bill means that there is not sufficient probable cause to move the case forward.
The District Attorney's Office assists the grand jury in hearing evidence and preparing indictments, but the actual deliberations are secret. Only the grand jurors are present during deliberations and voting on the cases.
If the case is charged as a felony, a felony prosecutor will review the case to determine if it should be accepted for prosecution. If the case is accepted, it will be presented to a grand jury for consideration. A witness may be required to testify before the grand jury.
The grand jury will either return an indictment against the defendant or no-bill the case. If the case is indicted, the prosecution proceeds until there is a resolution of the case. A no-bill means there is not sufficient probable cause to move the case forward.
If the case is charged as a misdemeanor, the case is filed in a County Court at Law or Justice of the Peace Court. The prosecution proceeds until there is a resolution of the case.
The Court issues scheduling orders once a case is indicted. Scheduling orders tell a defendant when he needs to appear in court. It sets out any pretrial dates and potential trial dates. An Assistant District Attorney will also appear in court on those dates. Those hearings are open to the public.
Plea bargaining is a process to resolve a criminal case without a jury trial on the merits of a case. A prosecutor will evaluate the facts, circumstances, and applicable law of the case to make a determination of what punishment (i.e. sentence) to offer a defendant in return for his plea of guilty to the charge in the case. The defendant, in consultation with his lawyer, will decide whether or not to accept the plea bargain.
There are advantages to both the State and the defendant to arrive at an agreement in many cases. However, a defendant has the right to reject a plea offer and request a trial by jury. If the defendant accepts the plea bargain, the case is set for a plea hearing before the court.
A written plea agreement is signed by the defendant and the attorneys and the defendant pleads guilty. If the court approves the plea bargain, punishment is assessed in accordance with the plea bargain agreement and the defendant begins to serve his sentence. Any proposed plea agreement must be approved by the court before it is entered.
Most cases are disposed of by plea bargain agreements. There are many reasons why this process is necessary. If you are the victim and you are concerned about the recommendation in your case, contact the prosecutor assigned to the case to discuss your concerns.
The Midland County District Attorney’s Office takes victims’ interests very seriously. We will make every effort to satisfy your concerns.
Once a case is assigned to a prosecutor, a letter will be sent to the victim telling the victim which prosecutor is assigned to the case. The prosecutor can be called at any time to answer questions about the case. The prosecutor welcomes any victims' comments on the resolution of a case.
However, there are other factors for the prosecutor to consider and the prosecutor will make the ultimate decision about how the case is resolved. A victim may be required to testify at trial and at a pre-trial hearing, if necessary. The prosecutor will advise a witness of all that may be required of him. Please see our victims assistance page for additional information.
The decision to dismiss a pending a criminal case can be made only by a prosecutor. Prosecutors make independent professional judgments within the bounds of the policies of the District Attorney’s Office as to whether a case merits prosecution.
If the prosecutor decides to file a motion to dismiss a case, the dismissal must be approved by a judge. A victim’s wishes will be considered in the decision to file, try, or dismiss a prosecution. A victim's thoughts are always welcomed by the prosecutor assigned to a case.
A subpoena will be issued directing a witness to appear in court on a specific day and time for the purpose of testifying. If a witness refuses to appear after the subpoena is delivered, the prosecutor will ask that a warrant (called “an attachment”) be issued for the witness's arrest and confinement in jail until the witness testifies.
Willful failure to obey a lawful order of a court, such as a subpoena, is an act of contempt for which the witness may be punished by the court. After all of that, a witness will still have to testify. A witness must testify truthfully. False testimony as to important facts while under oath in an official proceeding (such as a trial) is a very serious felony offense.
A witness may be contacted by defense attorneys or investigators working for the defense attorney to discuss the case. While a witness is free to speak to about the case with anyone they chose, they are not required to do so. If a witness decides to discuss the case with the defense attorney or investigator, the prosecutor would like to have someone from our staff present during the interview.
A witness may refer the defense attorney to the prosecutor assigned to the case for any information he wants and may decline to discuss the case. If the person claims to be with law enforcement or the District Attorney's Office, please ask them to show some identification or for their telephone number to use to be sure it is a law enforcement number.
We will try to take as little of a witness's time as necessary. Contact the number on the subpoena and the trial team secretary should be able to give a date and time to come to the courthouse. Tell her any scheduling conflicts at that time. A witness may not leave the courthouse until released by the court.
In the State of Texas, a defendant can elect to have a jury or judge determine if he is guilty or innocent. If the defendant decides to have the judge make the determination, the State must agree or the trial will be by a jury.
Once a defendant has been found guilty, he must have some punishment assessed. Again, the defendant can elect to have either the judge or jury determine his punishment. Both sides can put on more evidence at that time. There are times when the State and the Defendant agree on punishment and there is no hearing.
A defendant has the right to appeal his case. In Texas, there are two stages of appeal in a criminal case. The first stage is to a court of appeals. For Midland County, the appellate court is the 11th Court of Appeals in Eastland. The defendant can further appeal his case to the Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin.
No. The appellate court may choose not to entertain argument by either the defendant or this office and will advise the parties that no argument will be permitted. The appellate court decides the vast majority of cases on the briefs and records without oral argument.
Following the submission of the case, with or without oral argument, the appellate court will issue a written opinion either affirming (upholding) the conviction or reversing (overturning) the conviction as to the guilt and punishment assessed against the defendant. Occasionally the court will only overturn the punishment assessed.
Yes. The defendant may file a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court or in federal district court by filing a writ of habeas corpus. He may also file a writ of habeas corpus for relief in the Court of Criminal Appeals.
Although there are no readily available statistics compiled to answer this question, it is a fair estimate that over 90% of those convicted in contested trials will appeal their convictions, even if the sentence of the defendant was probated.
Our investigators attempt to make contact with the persons involved in a check case and may use email, text, or social media in addition to phone calls or in-person contact. To confirm that the person contacting you is one of our investigators, contact our office and confirm their identity. Our investigators are certified peace officers.
Contact the Hot Check Division and discuss the case with us. In almost all cases the balance can be paid and the case will be closed. If the case is ignored, it will result in a warrant for your arrest.
Have your attorney contact the prosecutor assigned to your case. Our investigators can no longer work with you after the case is indicted. Paying the balance after arrest will not cause the charge to be dismissed.
In many cases, reasonable payment arrangements can be made. This requires a written agreement as to payment terms. If you stop making payments, you can be criminally charged for the full amount. It is important to stay in contact with the investigator assigned to your case.
A protective order is a civil court order that tells an individual not to commit any further acts of violence. The District Attorney's Office does not issue the protective order. The District Attorney's Office will prepare and file your application for a protective order and represent you in court.
Only a District Court judge can grant a protective order. Most protective orders are in place for 2 years. There are certain circumstances when a protective order can be issued for a victim's lifetime.
A protective order takes at least two weeks to obtain and requires at least one appointment in our office and at least one court appearance.
Before a judge will grant a protective order, you must show that family violence or dating violence has occurred and that family violence or dating violence is likely to occur in the future. Family violence or dating violence is defined as an act intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or a threat that places you in reasonable fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault. When you go to court, you must be able to show that the person you want the order against has recently committed more than one act of physical violence against you or made threats to physically harm you.
You must also show that you and the person you want the order against meet one of the following relationships:
You must provide an address where the person can be found during the day because that person will need to have personal notification of your application for a protective order. If you are seeking protection for your children, you will need to provide their dates of birth and school or daycare information.
If you are married to the person and you are currently going through a divorce, you should talk to your divorce attorney about getting a protective order as part of your divorce. The Midland County District Attorney's Office does not typically represent individuals in protective order proceedings if they are represented by an attorney in a divorce proceeding.
The Midland County District Attorney's Office does not get involved with custody, visitation, child support, or property matters. If those issues are important to you, you may want to consult with a private attorney.
Once the application (PDF) has been filed and the person you are complaining against has been served, the court will hold a hearing. You will be required to testify during the hearing. An attorney with the Midland County District Attorney's will represent you in court and prepare you for the hearing. After hearing the testimony and examining all of the evidence, the court will then make a ruling.
After the protective order is granted, the person you are complaining against will be ordered not to:
The local police department or sheriff's office will be sent a copy of the order. If the person complained against commits any of the prohibited acts, criminal charges can be filed if there is sufficient proof of a violation. The maximum punishment that a violator can, but not necessarily, receive is 1 year in jail and/or a $4,000 fine or a combination of the two.
If you are ready to start the process of seeking a protective order, please complete the required forms and bring them to the Midland County District Attorney's Office located at:500 N Loraine StreetSuite 200Midland, TX 79701
If you have questions while filling out the form, please call us at 432-688-4411.