Hearings and trials can be intimidating and confusing to anyone who isn’t familiar with the workings of courtrooms. A-EZ Out is always working hard to help defendants through the legal process, so we’ve put together a guide to the courtroom officials you’ll see and what their roles are.
The judge’s job is to be an impartial third party who makes decisions based on the law and on the evidence brought into the courtroom by both the prosecution/plaintiff and the defense. Every misdemeanor and felony trial requires a judge, but you’ll rarely be able to speak directly to them. You shouldn’t attempt to contact the judge outside the courtroom, and you can only approach or talk to the judge with your defense counsel present.
Assistant District Attorneys
Assistant District Attorneys are employed by the District Attorney to act as prosecutors, and there will most likely be 2 to 3 present during your trial. These attorneys conduct jury and bench trials, and they’ll be responsible for direct examining your opposing witnesses and cross examining defense witnesses. You most likely won’t have any direct contact with assistant district attorneys, but they will work extensively with your attorney during the discovery process.
As a defendant, you have the right to be represented by an attorney. You can either hire your own attorney or have a public defender appointed to you. Your attorney’s job is to advise you throughout the legal process, represent you in court, make sure your rights aren’t being violated, and exchange information with the opposing counsel during discovery.
The court coordinator’s job is to handle the day-to-day court duties, make sure the defendant is eligible to be represented by a court-appointed lawyer, and inform both legal parties of the procedures and requirements for the presiding judge. If you have any questions about court dates or proper etiquette, you can speak with the court coordinator.
Court clerks process all the paperwork generated in your trial, and they’re responsible for calculating your legal fines and court costs. Clerks don’t work for the judge, but for the county or the district clerk’s office.
The bailiff is an officer employed by the county’s Sheriff’s Department. They’re responsible for making sure the court is safe, which means handling jail inmates or those in custody. You can expect to be searched by the bailiff before you enter the court. The bailiff also keeps track of your court attendance to make sure you show up at the right place and time.
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If you’re facing jail time after an arrest, A-EZ Out can help. Our bail bondsmen are available 24/7 to write bails in Dallas, Collin, Tarrant, and Denton County, and we’re dedicated to helping defendants get out of jail and back to their lives while awaiting trial. If you or a loved one is facing jail time, call A-EZ Out to get in touch with an experienced bail bondsman today!