Thousands of misdemeanor criminal cases are filed and disposed of at the county court level each
year. The Constitutional County Court, County Court at Law and County Court at Law #2 are supported by
the County Clerk with original jurisdiction encompassing class A and B misdemeanors and appellate
cases originally tried in justice and municipal courts.
A misdemeanor case for the county court will usually originate in the office of the County
Attorney. There, a citizen or peace officer will swear out a complaint alleging that a misdemeanor has
been committed. If the County Attorney decides that there is probable cause for prosecution and that jurisdiction in the matter lies within the county court, the attorney will have the complaint issued from
the attorney's office and filed with the County Clerk. The clerk will also receive a document called the
information, which is the County Attorney's formal charge against the defendant. The information serves the same purpose in the county court as an indictment does in district court. The clerk should have both the complaint and the information documents before filing the case.
The clerk's duties in criminal cases are varied and include filing cases, issuing processes, maintaining records of proceedings, collecting costs and fines, and appeals.
The following list contains the most typical cases filed at the county court level:
Driving while intoxicated
Driving while license suspended
Theft over $20 and under $1,500
Possession of dangerous drugs (other than narcotics)
Fleeing a peace officer (by operator of motor vehicle)
Carrying a prohibited weapon
Unlawfully carrying a weapon
Possession of Marijuana
Appeals from Justice Court
Appeals from Municipal Court
Motion and Order for Release of Cash Bond
Statement of Financial Inability to Pay Costs