Socorro Municipal Court

Socorro Municipal Court Reporter

Reporte de la Corte Municipal de Socorro

Helpful Links*

Enlaces de información

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More Helpful Links*

Mas enlaces de ayuda

Texas Constitution and Statutes: www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/
Federal Sex offender registry:www.nsopw.gov/Core/Portal.aspx
TX Sex Offender Reg: https://records.txdps.state.tx.us/DPS_WEB/SorNew/index.aspx
*This information is not edited or endorsed by SMC.

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Court Administration

Administracion de la Corte

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Court Coordinator: Isela Gonzalez courtcoordinator@ci.socorro.tx.us

Juvenile Case Mgr.: Cynthia Chaparro juvenilecasemgr@ci.socorro.tx.us
Bailiff/Warrant Officer: jesparza@ci.socorro.tx.us
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I got a Citation (“ticket”)…what next?

Recibí un citatorio (“multa”)…¿qué puedo hacer?

Signing the citation is not an admission of guilt only a PROMISE TO APPEAR before the Judge within 10 days or on the assigned ARRAIGNMENT DATE and ENTER A PLEA.

FAILURE TO APPEAR results in an a dditional fine of up to $275.00 and an issuance of a warrant. If this happens, please contact the Socorro Municipal Court immediately.

Plea Information: In our American justice system, persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The State is required to prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The following are the pleas you may enter.

La Información de súplica: En nuestro sistema norteamericano de justicia, todas las personas son presumidas inocentes hasta ser demostrado culpable. El Estado es requerido a demostrar la culpa del acusado “más allá de una duda razonable.” Las siguiente es las súplicas que usted puede entrar.

Guilty: You admit the act is prohibited by law, you committed the act, and you have no defense or legal excuse. You will pay the fine and court costs.

Culpable: Admite que el acto es prohibido por la ley, cometió el acto, y usted no tiene defensa ni excusa legal. Pagará la multa y gastos de corte.

Nolo Contendere (no contest): Nolo contendere means you do not contest the State’s charge. You may pay the fine. If eligible, you may complete a driving safety course or a court ordered deferment.
***CDL holders DO NOT qualify for a driving safety course or deferment***
Nolo Contendere (no contestar): Nolo Contendere significa que usted no disputa los cargos del Estado. Elige a pagar la multa o completar un curso de la seguridad de manejo y/o la corte ordenó aplazamiento.
***Poseedores de CDL NO CALIFICAN para un curso de la seguridad de manejo o el aplazamiento***

Not Guilty: Not Guilty means you deny guilt and you have a defense or legal excuse. If you plead not guilty, you may hire an attorney or represent yourself.

If you represent yourself, you may set up your case for an Officer Court, Bench Trial, or Jury Trial. You will contest your charges against our State Prosecutor.

No Culpable: Los medios no culpables niega ser culpable y usted tiene una defensa o excusa legal. Si implora no culpable, puede emplear a un abogado para representarlo. Si usted se representa, puede establecer su caso para una Audencia con oficial, Audencia de Banco, o Audencia con Jurado. Usted disputara los cargos contra nuestro Abogado del Estado.

Officer Court: A date is set for a trial before the Judge, the Officer, the State Prosecutor and any witnesses. A basic summary of events is allowed, but extensive cross-examination is not. After hearing both sides, the Judge declares you guilty or not guilty. Not guilty results in citation dismissal along with dismissal fees, if applicable. Guilty results in the Judge assessing the appropriate fine.

Bench Trial: A date is set for a trial before the Judge, the Officer, the State Prosecutor, and any witnesses. A pre-trial conference is held before the Bench trial; the Judge advises you of the basic procedures. A Bench Trial allows for you to give an opening statement, examine the complaint (written charge), cross-examine the Officer or any witnesses, give a closing statement, and other basic trial procedures you do not have in Officer Court. After the trial, the Judge declares you not guilty or guilty. If guilty, the Judge determ ines the fine. Bench Trials will take about an hour to complete.

Jury Trial (6th Amendment): A date is set for a trial before the Judge, 6 jurors, the Officer, the State Prosecutor, and any witnesses. A pre-trial conference is held before the Jury trial; the Judge advises you of the basic procedures. A Jury Trial allows for you to give an opening statement, examine the complaint (written charge), cross-examine the Officer or any witnesses, give a closing statement, and other basic trial procedures you do not have in Officer Court. After the trial, the Jury declares you not guilty or guilty. If guilty, the Judge determines the fine. Jury Trials will take at least an hour to complete.

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SMC Jury Information

Información del jurado

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial…” United State Constitution: Amendment 6

“The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate” Texas Constitution: Article 1, Section 15.”
Socorro Municipal Court holds jury trials as requested. Jurors are summoned by the Court Clerk. The juror pool is drawn from voter registration rolls and Department of Public Safety rolls. In order to serve as a juror you must reside within the Socorro City limits. A questionnaire and Juror card will be sent out to you prior to the summons date. Please fill it out and return it within 10 days to the Courthouse. Failure to do so will result in a fine.
Exemptions to Juror Service: The following people are welcome to serve as jurors, but may claim an exemption to juror service:
  1. Persons over (70) years of age;
  2. Persons who have legal custody of a child under the age of 15 years if jury service would require leaving the child without supervision;
  3. All students of public or private secondary schools; persons enrolled and attending an institution of higher education;
  4. Primary caretaker of a person who is unable to care for himself or herself;
  5. Officer or employee of the Senate, House of Representatives, or other agency in the legislative branch; or
  6. A Person has served as a juror in SOCORRO* in the past 2 years.

Serving in an El Paso County Court or El Paso City Court jury DOES NOT exempt you from serving in Socorro

If you qualify for an exemption/excuse, call us at 915.872.8574, or complete the Certification of Exemption or Disqualification form on your summons and mail it to SMC, or you may fax it to 915.872.0450.

*** You must file your exemption/excuse with the Court Clerk before your service date. ***

*** Please call and verify if your exemption/excuse was granted or denied by the Judge. ***

CONFIRMATION OF ATTENDANCE: If you have been summoned, please confirm your attendance the day before service by calling 915.872.8574.

Failure to report to court is a serious offense, and you may be fined. You will need to to attend court on time.

LENGTH OF SERVICE: At least (1) one day.

JURY STIPEND: If selected to serve, service pays $20.00 per day.

DRESS: Business casual or business attire.

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE: The Court Clerk will give you a Certificate of Service.

SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS: It is the policy of the Socorro Municipal Court to ensure individuals with disabilities have equal access consistent with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you require any special accommodations, we ask you call us at 915.872.8574.

MEDIA COURTROOM POLICY: Most Jury Trials involving Minors (under 21) will be closed to the Media. Most Jury Trials involving Juveniles (under 17) will be closed to the Media. Unless otherwise determined by Judge Vidales, all other Jury Trials will be open to the Media upon written request.

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Can I Represent/Defend Myself? (Pro-Se)

¿Me puedo representar/defender a mi mismo?

Yes; this is called “Pro Se.” If you decide to represent yourself, you have all the rights & responsibilities of an attorney. The Judge will expect you to know the Texas Rules of Evidence, the Texas Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Texas Penal Code, the Traffic Code, and the proper conduct of an attorney in a courtroom, especially if you request a bench or a jury trial. Once the bench or jury trial has begun, the Judge cannot assist you. If you go Pro-Se on a bench or jury trial, the Judge will hold a pre-conference hearing and go over your Pro-Se rights and duties.
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I Have an Attorney
If you hire an attorney, please advise the Court and have your attorney file an Entry of Appearance. Once an attorney is attained, the Judge cannot make any decisions without the consent of your attorney.
Attorneys
In order to maintain a professional & impartial environment, and in conjunction with Attorney rules of Professional Conduct & Responsibility and the Judge’s Code of Judicial Conduct; please READ and SIGN the SMC Model Rules of Court Decorum BEFORE you arrive to the Courthouse and hand it to the one of the Clerks.
Motions for continuance MUST be filed (10) ten days PRIOR to a scheduled hearing.
Please be on time to your scheduled hearing and ready.
Basic questions may be answered by one of our clerks. Legal or client specific questions must be directed to our State Prosecutor.

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Getting Married?

¿Se va a casar?

Guidelines:

Once you get a marriage license, contact a Clerk for Judge availability.

Marriage licenses can be obtained at the El Paso County Courthouse, visit the EP County Courthouse or www.epcounty.com/clerk/marriage.htm for more information.
Once obtained, there is a 72-hour waiting period, and the ceremony must be performed before 30 days.
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