Laws Lawyers Find Laws Legal Forms State Laws Bills

TEXAS STATUTES AND CODES

CHAPTER 36. THE TRIAL BEFORE THE JURY

Listen
CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURETITLE 1. CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURECHAPTER 36. THE TRIAL BEFORE THE JURYArt. 36.01. ORDER OF PROCEEDING IN TRIAL.(a) A jury beingimpaneled in any criminal action, except as provided bySubsection (b) of this article, the cause shall proceed in thefollowing order:1. The indictment or information shall be read to the jury by theattorney prosecuting. When prior convictions are alleged forpurposes of enhancement only and are not jurisdictional, thatportion of the indictment or information reciting suchconvictions shall not be read until the hearing on punishment isheld as provided in Article 37.07.2. The special pleas, if any, shall be read by the defendant'scounsel, and if the plea of not guilty is also relied upon, itshall also be stated.3. The State's attorney shall state to the jury the nature of theaccusation and the facts which are expected to be proved by theState in support thereof.4. The testimony on the part of the State shall be offered.5. The nature of the defenses relied upon and the facts expectedto be proved in their support shall be stated by defendant'scounsel.6. The testimony on the part of the defendant shall be offered.7. Rebutting testimony may be offered on the part of each party.8. In the event of a finding of guilty, the trial shall thenproceed as set forth in Article 37.07.(b) The defendant's counsel may make the opening statement forthe defendant immediately after the attorney representing theState makes the opening statement for the State. After thedefendant's attorney concludes the defendant's opening statement,the State's testimony shall be offered. At the conclusion of thepresentation of the State's testimony, the defendant's testimonyshall be offered, and the order of proceedings shall continue inthe manner described by Subsection (a) of this article.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 519, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,1987.Art. 36.02. TESTIMONY AT ANY TIME.The court shall allowtestimony to be introduced at any time before the argument of acause is concluded, if it appears that it is necessary to a dueadministration of justice.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.03. INVOCATION OF RULE.(a) Notwithstanding Rule 614,Texas Rules of Evidence, a court at the request of a party mayorder the exclusion of a witness who for the purposes of theprosecution is a victim, close relative of a deceased victim, orguardian of a victim only if the witness is to testify and thecourt determines that the testimony of the witness would bematerially affected if the witness hears other testimony at thetrial.(b) On the objection of the opposing party, the court may requirethe party requesting exclusion of a witness under Subsection (a)to make an offer of proof to justify the exclusion.(c) Subsection (a) does not limit the authority of the court onits own motion to exclude a witness or other person to maintaindecorum in the courtroom.(d) In this article:(1) "Close relative of a deceased victim" and "guardian of avictim" have the meanings assigned by Article 56.01.(2) "Victim" means a victim of any criminal offense.(e) At the commencement of a trial, the court shall admonish eachwitness who is to testify as to those persons whom the courtdetermines the witness may talk to about the case before thetrial ends and those persons whom the witness may not talk toabout the case. The court may punish as contempt a witness whoviolates the admonishment provided by the court.Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1034, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,2001.Art. 36.05. NOT TO HEAR TESTIMONY.Witnesses under rule shall beattended by an officer, and all their reasonable wants providedfor, unless the court, in its discretion, directs that they beallowed to go at large; but in no case where the witnesses areunder rule shall they be allowed to hear any testimony in thecase.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.06. INSTRUCTED BY THE COURT.Witnesses, when placedunder rule, shall be instructed by the court that they are not toconverse with each other or with any other person about the case,except by permission of the court, and that they are not to readany report of or comment upon the testimony in the case whileunder rule. The officer who attends the witnesses shall report tothe court at once any violation of its instructions, and theparty violating the same shall be punished for contempt of court.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.07. ORDER OF ARGUMENT.The order of argument may beregulated by the presiding judge; but the State's counsel shallhave the right to make the concluding address to the jury.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.08. NUMBER OF ARGUMENTS.The court shall never restrictthe argument in felony cases to a number of addresses less thantwo on each side.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.09. SEVERANCE ON SEPARATE INDICTMENTS.Two or moredefendants who are jointly or separately indicted or complainedagainst for the same offense or any offense growing out of thesame transaction may be, in the discretion of the court, triedjointly or separately as to one or more defendants; provided thatin any event either defendant may testify for the other or onbehalf of the state; and provided further, that in cases inwhich, upon timely motion to sever, and evidence introducedthereon, it is made known to the court that there is a previousadmissible conviction against one defendant or that a joint trialwould be prejudicial to any defendant, the court shall order aseverance as to the defendant whose joint trial would prejudicethe other defendant or defendants.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts1967, 60th Leg., p. 1739, ch. 659, Sec. 21, eff. Aug. 28, 1967.Art. 36.10. ORDER OF TRIAL.If a severance is granted, thedefendants may agree upon the order in which they are to betried, but if they fail to agree, the court shall direct theorder of the trial.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.11. DISCHARGE BEFORE VERDICT.If it appears during atrial that the court has no jurisdiction of the offense, or thatthe facts charged in the indictment do not constitute an offense,the jury shall be discharged. The accused shall also bedischarged, but such discharge shall be no bar in any case to aprosecution before the proper court for any offense unlesstermination of the former prosecution was improper.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts1973, 63rd Leg., p. 971, ch. 399, Sec. 2(A), eff. Jan. 1, 1974.Art. 36.12. COURT MAY COMMIT.If the want of jurisdiction arisesfrom the fact that the defendant is not liable to prosecution inthe county where the indictment was presented, the court may infelony cases order the accused into custody for a reasonablelength of time to await a warrant for his arrest from the propercounty; or if the offense be bailable, may require him to enterinto recognizance to answer before the proper court; in whichcase a certified copy of the recognizance shall be sent forthwithto the clerk of the proper court, to be enforced by that court incase of forfeiture.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.13. JURY IS JUDGE OF FACTS.Unless otherwise provided inthis Code, the jury is the exclusive judge of the facts, but itis bound to receive the law from the court and be governedthereby.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.14. CHARGE OF COURT.Subject to the provisions ofArticle 36.07 in each felony case and in each misdemeanor casetried in a court of record, the judge shall, before the argumentbegins, deliver to the jury, except in pleas of guilty, where ajury has been waived, a written charge distinctly setting forththe law applicable to the case; not expressing any opinion as tothe weight of the evidence, not summing up the testimony,discussing the facts or using any argument in his chargecalculated to arouse the sympathy or excite the passions of thejury. Before said charge is read to the jury, the defendant orhis counsel shall have a reasonable time to examine the same andhe shall present his objections thereto in writing, distinctlyspecifying each ground of objection. Said objections may embodyerrors claimed to have been committed in the charge, as well aserrors claimed to have been committed by omissions therefrom orin failing to charge upon issues arising from the facts, and inno event shall it be necessary for the defendant or his counselto present special requested charges to preserve or maintain anyerror assigned to the charge, as herein provided. The requirementthat the objections to the court's charge be in writing will becomplied with if the objections are dictated to the courtreporter in the presence of the court and the state's counsel,before the reading of the court's charge to the jury. Compliancewith the provisions of this Article is all that is necessary topreserve, for review, the exceptions and objections presented tothe charge and any amendment or modification thereof. In no eventshall it be necessary for the defendant to except to the actionof the court in over-ruling defendant's exceptions or objectionsto the charge.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts1975, 64th Leg., p. 617, ch. 253, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975.Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 2244, ch. 537, Sec. 1, eff.June 12, 1981.Art. 36.15. REQUESTED SPECIAL CHARGES.Before the court readshis charge to the jury, counsel on both sides shall have areasonable time to present written instructions and ask that theybe given to the jury. The requirement that the instructions be inwriting is complied with if the instructions are dictated to thecourt reporter in the presence of the court and the state'scounsel, before the reading of the court's charge to the jury.The court shall give or refuse these charges. The defendant may,by a special requested instruction, call the trial court'sattention to error in the charge, as well as omissions therefrom,and no other exception or objection to the court's charge shallbe necessary to preserve any error reflected by any specialrequested instruction which the trial court refuses.Any special requested charge which is granted shall beincorporated in the main charge and shall be treated as a partthereof, and the jury shall not be advised that it is a specialrequested charge of either party. The judge shall read to thejury only such special charges as he gives.When the defendant has leveled objections to the charge or hasrequested instructions or both, and the court thereafter modifieshis charge and rewrites the same and in so doing does not respondto objections or requested charges, or any of them, then theobjections or requested charges shall not be deemed to have beenwaived by the party making or requesting the same, but shall bedeemed to continue to have been urged by the party making orrequesting the same unless the contrary is shown by the record;no exception by the defendant to the action of the court shall benecessary or required in order to preserve for review the errorclaimed in the charge.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts1979, 36th Leg., p. 1109, ch. 525, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 2245, ch. 537, Sec. 1, eff.June 12, 1981.Art. 36.16. FINAL CHARGE.After the judge shall have receivedthe objections to his main charge, together with any specialcharges offered, he may make such changes in his main charge ashe may deem proper, and the defendant or his counsel shall havethe opportunity to present their objections thereto and in thesame manner as is provided in Article 36.15, and thereupon thejudge shall read his charge to the jury as finally written,together with any special charges given, and no further exceptionor objection shall be required of the defendant in order topreserve any objections or exceptions theretofore made. After theargument begins no further charge shall be given to the juryunless required by the improper argument of counsel or therequest of the jury, or unless the judge shall, in hisdiscretion, permit the introduction of other testimony, and inthe event of such further charge, the defendant or his counselshall have the right to present objections in the same manner asis prescribed in Article 36.15. The failure of the court to givethe defendant or his counsel a reasonable time to examine thecharge and specify the ground of objection shall be subject toreview either in the trial court or in the appellate court.Acts 1965, 56th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.17. CHARGE CERTIFIED BY JUDGE.The general charge givenby the court and all special charges given or refused shall becertified by the judge and filed among the papers in the cause.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.18. JURY MAY TAKE CHARGE.The jury may take to theirjury room the charges given by the court after the same have beenfiled. They shall not be permitted to take with them any chargeor part thereof which the court has refused to give.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.19. REVIEW OF CHARGE ON APPEAL.Whenever it appears bythe record in any criminal action upon appeal that anyrequirement of Articles 36.14, 36.15, 36.16, 36.17 and 36.18 hasbeen disregarded, the judgment shall not be reversed unless theerror appearing from the record was calculated to injure therights of defendant, or unless it appears from the record thatthe defendant has not had a fair and impartial trial. Allobjections to the charge and to the refusal of special chargesshall be made at the time of the trial.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.21. TO PROVIDE JURY ROOM.The sheriff shall provide asuitable room for the deliberation of the jury and supply themwith such necessary food and lodging as he can obtain. Nointoxicating liquor shall be furnished them. In all cases whereina jury consists partly of male jurors and partly of femalejurors, the sheriff shall provide facilities for the femalejurors separate and apart from the facilities provided for themale jurors.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.215. RECORDING OF JURY DELIBERATIONS.A person may notuse any device to produce or make an audio, visual, oraudio-visual broadcast, recording, or photograph of a jury whilethe jury is deliberating.Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,2003.Art. 36.22. CONVERSING WITH JURY.No person shall be permittedto be with a jury while it is deliberating. No person shall bepermitted to converse with a juror about the case on trial exceptin the presence and by the permission of the court.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.23. VIOLATION OF PRECEDING ARTICLE.Any juror or otherperson violating the preceding Article shall be punished forcontempt of court by confinement in jail not to exceed three daysor by fine not to exceed one hundred dollars, or by both suchfine and imprisonment.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.24. OFFICER SHALL ATTEND JURY.The sheriff of the countyshall furnish the court with a bailiff during the trial of anycase to attend the wants of the jury and to act under thedirection of the court. If the person furnished by the sheriff isto be called as a witness in the case he may not serve asbailiff.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.25. WRITTEN EVIDENCE.There shall be furnished to thejury upon its request any exhibits admitted as evidence in thecase.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.26. FOREMAN OF JURY.Each jury shall appoint one of itsmembers foreman.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.27. JURY MAY COMMUNICATE WITH COURT.When the jurywishes to communicate with the court, it shall so notify thesheriff, who shall inform the court thereof. Any communicationrelative to the cause must be written, prepared by the foremanand shall be submitted to the court through the bailiff. Thecourt shall answer any such communication in writing, and beforegiving such answer to the jury shall use reasonable diligence tosecure the presence of the defendant and his counsel, and shallfirst submit the question and also submit his answer to the sameto the defendant or his counsel or objections and exceptions, inthe same manner as any other written instructions are submittedto such counsel, before the court gives such answer to the jury,but if he is unable to secure the presence of the defendant andhis counsel, then he shall proceed to answer the same as he deemsproper. The written instruction or answer to the communicationshall be read in open court unless expressly waived by thedefendant.All such proceedings in felony cases shall be a part of therecord and recorded by the court reporter.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.28. JURY MAY HAVE WITNESS RE-EXAMINED OR TESTIMONY READ.In the trial of a criminal case in a court of record, if the jurydisagree as to the statement of any witness they may, uponapplying to the court, have read to them from the courtreporter's notes that part of such witness testimony or theparticular point in dispute, and no other; but if there be nosuch reporter, or if his notes cannot be read to the jury, thecourt may cause such witness to be again brought upon the standand the judge shall direct him to repeat his testimony as to thepoint in dispute, and no other, as nearly as he can in thelanguage used on the trial.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.29. IF A JUROR DIES OR BECOMES DISABLED.(a) Not lessthan twelve jurors can render and return a verdict in a felonycase. It must be concurred in by each juror and signed by theforeman. Except as provided in Subsection (b), however, after thetrial of any felony case begins and a juror dies or, asdetermined by the judge, becomes disabled from sitting at anytime before the charge of the court is read to the jury, theremainder of the jury shall have the power to render the verdict;but when the verdict shall be rendered by less than the wholenumber, it shall be signed by every member of the jury concurringin it.(b) If alternate jurors have been selected in a capital case inwhich the state seeks the death penalty and a juror dies orbecomes disabled from sitting at any time before the charge ofthe court is read to the jury, the alternate juror whose name wascalled first under Article 35.26 of this code shall replace thedead or disabled juror. Likewise, if another juror dies orbecomes disabled from sitting before the charge of the court isread to the jury, the other alternate juror shall replace thesecond juror to die or become disabled.(c)After the charge of the court is read to the jury, if ajuror becomes so sick as to prevent the continuance of thejuror's duty and an alternate juror is not available, or if anyaccident of circumstance occurs to prevent the jury from beingkept together under circumstances under which the law or theinstructions of the court requires that the jury be kepttogether, the jury shall be discharged, except that on agreementon the record by the defendant, the defendant's counsel, and theattorney representing the state 11 members of a jury may render averdict and, if punishment is to be assessed by the jury, assesspunishment.If a verdict is rendered by less than the wholenumber of the jury, each member of the jury shall sign theverdict.(d)After the jury has rendered a verdict on the guilt orinnocence of the defendant and, if applicable, the amount ofpunishment, the court shall discharge an alternate juror who hasnot replaced a juror.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 2264, ch. 545, Sec. 2, eff.June 12, 1981; Subsec. (b) amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch.652, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Subsec. (c) amended by Acts1997, 75th Leg., ch. 866, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Art.heading amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1000, Sec. 1, eff.Sept. 1, 2001; Subsec. (a) amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch.1000, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.Amended by:Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.846, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch.627, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.Art. 36.30. DISCHARGING JURY IN MISDEMEANOR.If nine of the jurycan be kept together in a misdemeanor case in the district court,they shall not be discharged. If more than three of the twelveare discharged, the entire jury shall be discharged.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.31. DISAGREEMENT OF JURY.After the cause is submittedto the jury, it may be discharged when it cannot agree and bothparties consent to its discharge; or the court may in itsdiscretion discharge it where it has been kept together for suchtime as to render it altogether improbable that it can agree.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.32. RECEIPT OF VERDICT AND FINAL ADJOURNMENT.During thetrial of any case, the term shall be deemed to have been extendeduntil such time as the jury has rendered its verdict or beendischarged according to law.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.Art. 36.33. DISCHARGE WITHOUT VERDICT.When a jury has beendischarged, as provided in the four preceding Articles, withouthaving rendered a verdict, the cause may be again tried at thesame or another term.Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.
Loading...
  • Play
  • Pause
  • Volume:
  • Mute
  • Half
  • Max
  • CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

    TITLE 1. CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

    CHAPTER 36. THE TRIAL BEFORE THE JURY

    Art. 36.01. ORDER OF PROCEEDING IN TRIAL. (a) A jury being

    impaneled in any criminal action, except as provided by

    Subsection (b) of this article, the cause shall proceed in the

    following order:

    1. The indictment or information shall be read to the jury by the

    attorney prosecuting. When prior convictions are alleged for

    purposes of enhancement only and are not jurisdictional, that

    portion of the indictment or information reciting such

    convictions shall not be read until the hearing on punishment is

    held as provided in Article 37.07.

    2. The special pleas, if any, shall be read by the defendant's

    counsel, and if the plea of not guilty is also relied upon, it

    shall also be stated.

    3. The State's attorney shall state to the jury the nature of the

    accusation and the facts which are expected to be proved by the

    State in support thereof.

    4. The testimony on the part of the State shall be offered.

    5. The nature of the defenses relied upon and the facts expected

    to be proved in their support shall be stated by defendant's

    counsel.

    6. The testimony on the part of the defendant shall be offered.

    7. Rebutting testimony may be offered on the part of each party.

    8. In the event of a finding of guilty, the trial shall then

    proceed as set forth in Article 37.07.

    (b) The defendant's counsel may make the opening statement for

    the defendant immediately after the attorney representing the

    State makes the opening statement for the State. After the

    defendant's attorney concludes the defendant's opening statement,

    the State's testimony shall be offered. At the conclusion of the

    presentation of the State's testimony, the defendant's testimony

    shall be offered, and the order of proceedings shall continue in

    the manner described by Subsection (a) of this article.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 519, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

    1987.

    Art. 36.02. TESTIMONY AT ANY TIME. The court shall allow

    testimony to be introduced at any time before the argument of a

    cause is concluded, if it appears that it is necessary to a due

    administration of justice.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.03. INVOCATION OF RULE. (a) Notwithstanding Rule 614,

    Texas Rules of Evidence, a court at the request of a party may

    order the exclusion of a witness who for the purposes of the

    prosecution is a victim, close relative of a deceased victim, or

    guardian of a victim only if the witness is to testify and the

    court determines that the testimony of the witness would be

    materially affected if the witness hears other testimony at the

    trial.

    (b) On the objection of the opposing party, the court may require

    the party requesting exclusion of a witness under Subsection (a)

    to make an offer of proof to justify the exclusion.

    (c) Subsection (a) does not limit the authority of the court on

    its own motion to exclude a witness or other person to maintain

    decorum in the courtroom.

    (d) In this article:

    (1) "Close relative of a deceased victim" and "guardian of a

    victim" have the meanings assigned by Article 56.01.

    (2) "Victim" means a victim of any criminal offense.

    (e) At the commencement of a trial, the court shall admonish each

    witness who is to testify as to those persons whom the court

    determines the witness may talk to about the case before the

    trial ends and those persons whom the witness may not talk to

    about the case. The court may punish as contempt a witness who

    violates the admonishment provided by the court.

    Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1034, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

    2001.

    Art. 36.05. NOT TO HEAR TESTIMONY. Witnesses under rule shall be

    attended by an officer, and all their reasonable wants provided

    for, unless the court, in its discretion, directs that they be

    allowed to go at large; but in no case where the witnesses are

    under rule shall they be allowed to hear any testimony in the

    case.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.06. INSTRUCTED BY THE COURT. Witnesses, when placed

    under rule, shall be instructed by the court that they are not to

    converse with each other or with any other person about the case,

    except by permission of the court, and that they are not to read

    any report of or comment upon the testimony in the case while

    under rule. The officer who attends the witnesses shall report to

    the court at once any violation of its instructions, and the

    party violating the same shall be punished for contempt of court.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.07. ORDER OF ARGUMENT. The order of argument may be

    regulated by the presiding judge; but the State's counsel shall

    have the right to make the concluding address to the jury.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.08. NUMBER OF ARGUMENTS. The court shall never restrict

    the argument in felony cases to a number of addresses less than

    two on each side.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.09. SEVERANCE ON SEPARATE INDICTMENTS. Two or more

    defendants who are jointly or separately indicted or complained

    against for the same offense or any offense growing out of the

    same transaction may be, in the discretion of the court, tried

    jointly or separately as to one or more defendants; provided that

    in any event either defendant may testify for the other or on

    behalf of the state; and provided further, that in cases in

    which, upon timely motion to sever, and evidence introduced

    thereon, it is made known to the court that there is a previous

    admissible conviction against one defendant or that a joint trial

    would be prejudicial to any defendant, the court shall order a

    severance as to the defendant whose joint trial would prejudice

    the other defendant or defendants.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts

    1967, 60th Leg., p. 1739, ch. 659, Sec. 21, eff. Aug. 28, 1967.

    Art. 36.10. ORDER OF TRIAL. If a severance is granted, the

    defendants may agree upon the order in which they are to be

    tried, but if they fail to agree, the court shall direct the

    order of the trial.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.11. DISCHARGE BEFORE VERDICT. If it appears during a

    trial that the court has no jurisdiction of the offense, or that

    the facts charged in the indictment do not constitute an offense,

    the jury shall be discharged. The accused shall also be

    discharged, but such discharge shall be no bar in any case to a

    prosecution before the proper court for any offense unless

    termination of the former prosecution was improper.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts

    1973, 63rd Leg., p. 971, ch. 399, Sec. 2(A), eff. Jan. 1, 1974.

    Art. 36.12. COURT MAY COMMIT. If the want of jurisdiction arises

    from the fact that the defendant is not liable to prosecution in

    the county where the indictment was presented, the court may in

    felony cases order the accused into custody for a reasonable

    length of time to await a warrant for his arrest from the proper

    county; or if the offense be bailable, may require him to enter

    into recognizance to answer before the proper court; in which

    case a certified copy of the recognizance shall be sent forthwith

    to the clerk of the proper court, to be enforced by that court in

    case of forfeiture.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.13. JURY IS JUDGE OF FACTS. Unless otherwise provided in

    this Code, the jury is the exclusive judge of the facts, but it

    is bound to receive the law from the court and be governed

    thereby.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.14. CHARGE OF COURT. Subject to the provisions of

    Article 36.07 in each felony case and in each misdemeanor case

    tried in a court of record, the judge shall, before the argument

    begins, deliver to the jury, except in pleas of guilty, where a

    jury has been waived, a written charge distinctly setting forth

    the law applicable to the case; not expressing any opinion as to

    the weight of the evidence, not summing up the testimony,

    discussing the facts or using any argument in his charge

    calculated to arouse the sympathy or excite the passions of the

    jury. Before said charge is read to the jury, the defendant or

    his counsel shall have a reasonable time to examine the same and

    he shall present his objections thereto in writing, distinctly

    specifying each ground of objection. Said objections may embody

    errors claimed to have been committed in the charge, as well as

    errors claimed to have been committed by omissions therefrom or

    in failing to charge upon issues arising from the facts, and in

    no event shall it be necessary for the defendant or his counsel

    to present special requested charges to preserve or maintain any

    error assigned to the charge, as herein provided. The requirement

    that the objections to the court's charge be in writing will be

    complied with if the objections are dictated to the court

    reporter in the presence of the court and the state's counsel,

    before the reading of the court's charge to the jury. Compliance

    with the provisions of this Article is all that is necessary to

    preserve, for review, the exceptions and objections presented to

    the charge and any amendment or modification thereof. In no event

    shall it be necessary for the defendant to except to the action

    of the court in over-ruling defendant's exceptions or objections

    to the charge.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts

    1975, 64th Leg., p. 617, ch. 253, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1975.

    Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 2244, ch. 537, Sec. 1, eff.

    June 12, 1981.

    Art. 36.15. REQUESTED SPECIAL CHARGES. Before the court reads

    his charge to the jury, counsel on both sides shall have a

    reasonable time to present written instructions and ask that they

    be given to the jury. The requirement that the instructions be in

    writing is complied with if the instructions are dictated to the

    court reporter in the presence of the court and the state's

    counsel, before the reading of the court's charge to the jury.

    The court shall give or refuse these charges. The defendant may,

    by a special requested instruction, call the trial court's

    attention to error in the charge, as well as omissions therefrom,

    and no other exception or objection to the court's charge shall

    be necessary to preserve any error reflected by any special

    requested instruction which the trial court refuses.

    Any special requested charge which is granted shall be

    incorporated in the main charge and shall be treated as a part

    thereof, and the jury shall not be advised that it is a special

    requested charge of either party. The judge shall read to the

    jury only such special charges as he gives.

    When the defendant has leveled objections to the charge or has

    requested instructions or both, and the court thereafter modifies

    his charge and rewrites the same and in so doing does not respond

    to objections or requested charges, or any of them, then the

    objections or requested charges shall not be deemed to have been

    waived by the party making or requesting the same, but shall be

    deemed to continue to have been urged by the party making or

    requesting the same unless the contrary is shown by the record;

    no exception by the defendant to the action of the court shall be

    necessary or required in order to preserve for review the error

    claimed in the charge.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts

    1979, 36th Leg., p. 1109, ch. 525, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 2245, ch. 537, Sec. 1, eff.

    June 12, 1981.

    Art. 36.16. FINAL CHARGE. After the judge shall have received

    the objections to his main charge, together with any special

    charges offered, he may make such changes in his main charge as

    he may deem proper, and the defendant or his counsel shall have

    the opportunity to present their objections thereto and in the

    same manner as is provided in Article 36.15, and thereupon the

    judge shall read his charge to the jury as finally written,

    together with any special charges given, and no further exception

    or objection shall be required of the defendant in order to

    preserve any objections or exceptions theretofore made. After the

    argument begins no further charge shall be given to the jury

    unless required by the improper argument of counsel or the

    request of the jury, or unless the judge shall, in his

    discretion, permit the introduction of other testimony, and in

    the event of such further charge, the defendant or his counsel

    shall have the right to present objections in the same manner as

    is prescribed in Article 36.15. The failure of the court to give

    the defendant or his counsel a reasonable time to examine the

    charge and specify the ground of objection shall be subject to

    review either in the trial court or in the appellate court.

    Acts 1965, 56th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.17. CHARGE CERTIFIED BY JUDGE. The general charge given

    by the court and all special charges given or refused shall be

    certified by the judge and filed among the papers in the cause.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.18. JURY MAY TAKE CHARGE. The jury may take to their

    jury room the charges given by the court after the same have been

    filed. They shall not be permitted to take with them any charge

    or part thereof which the court has refused to give.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.19. REVIEW OF CHARGE ON APPEAL. Whenever it appears by

    the record in any criminal action upon appeal that any

    requirement of Articles 36.14, 36.15, 36.16, 36.17 and 36.18 has

    been disregarded, the judgment shall not be reversed unless the

    error appearing from the record was calculated to injure the

    rights of defendant, or unless it appears from the record that

    the defendant has not had a fair and impartial trial. All

    objections to the charge and to the refusal of special charges

    shall be made at the time of the trial.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.21. TO PROVIDE JURY ROOM. The sheriff shall provide a

    suitable room for the deliberation of the jury and supply them

    with such necessary food and lodging as he can obtain. No

    intoxicating liquor shall be furnished them. In all cases wherein

    a jury consists partly of male jurors and partly of female

    jurors, the sheriff shall provide facilities for the female

    jurors separate and apart from the facilities provided for the

    male jurors.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.215. RECORDING OF JURY DELIBERATIONS. A person may not

    use any device to produce or make an audio, visual, or

    audio-visual broadcast, recording, or photograph of a jury while

    the jury is deliberating.

    Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 54, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1,

    2003.

    Art. 36.22. CONVERSING WITH JURY. No person shall be permitted

    to be with a jury while it is deliberating. No person shall be

    permitted to converse with a juror about the case on trial except

    in the presence and by the permission of the court.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.23. VIOLATION OF PRECEDING ARTICLE. Any juror or other

    person violating the preceding Article shall be punished for

    contempt of court by confinement in jail not to exceed three days

    or by fine not to exceed one hundred dollars, or by both such

    fine and imprisonment.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.24. OFFICER SHALL ATTEND JURY. The sheriff of the county

    shall furnish the court with a bailiff during the trial of any

    case to attend the wants of the jury and to act under the

    direction of the court. If the person furnished by the sheriff is

    to be called as a witness in the case he may not serve as

    bailiff.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.25. WRITTEN EVIDENCE. There shall be furnished to the

    jury upon its request any exhibits admitted as evidence in the

    case.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.26. FOREMAN OF JURY. Each jury shall appoint one of its

    members foreman.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.27. JURY MAY COMMUNICATE WITH COURT. When the jury

    wishes to communicate with the court, it shall so notify the

    sheriff, who shall inform the court thereof. Any communication

    relative to the cause must be written, prepared by the foreman

    and shall be submitted to the court through the bailiff. The

    court shall answer any such communication in writing, and before

    giving such answer to the jury shall use reasonable diligence to

    secure the presence of the defendant and his counsel, and shall

    first submit the question and also submit his answer to the same

    to the defendant or his counsel or objections and exceptions, in

    the same manner as any other written instructions are submitted

    to such counsel, before the court gives such answer to the jury,

    but if he is unable to secure the presence of the defendant and

    his counsel, then he shall proceed to answer the same as he deems

    proper. The written instruction or answer to the communication

    shall be read in open court unless expressly waived by the

    defendant.

    All such proceedings in felony cases shall be a part of the

    record and recorded by the court reporter.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.28. JURY MAY HAVE WITNESS RE-EXAMINED OR TESTIMONY READ.

    In the trial of a criminal case in a court of record, if the jury

    disagree as to the statement of any witness they may, upon

    applying to the court, have read to them from the court

    reporter's notes that part of such witness testimony or the

    particular point in dispute, and no other; but if there be no

    such reporter, or if his notes cannot be read to the jury, the

    court may cause such witness to be again brought upon the stand

    and the judge shall direct him to repeat his testimony as to the

    point in dispute, and no other, as nearly as he can in the

    language used on the trial.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.29. IF A JUROR DIES OR BECOMES DISABLED. (a) Not less

    than twelve jurors can render and return a verdict in a felony

    case. It must be concurred in by each juror and signed by the

    foreman. Except as provided in Subsection (b), however, after the

    trial of any felony case begins and a juror dies or, as

    determined by the judge, becomes disabled from sitting at any

    time before the charge of the court is read to the jury, the

    remainder of the jury shall have the power to render the verdict;

    but when the verdict shall be rendered by less than the whole

    number, it shall be signed by every member of the jury concurring

    in it.

    (b) If alternate jurors have been selected in a capital case in

    which the state seeks the death penalty and a juror dies or

    becomes disabled from sitting at any time before the charge of

    the court is read to the jury, the alternate juror whose name was

    called first under Article 35.26 of this code shall replace the

    dead or disabled juror. Likewise, if another juror dies or

    becomes disabled from sitting before the charge of the court is

    read to the jury, the other alternate juror shall replace the

    second juror to die or become disabled.

    (c) After the charge of the court is read to the jury, if a

    juror becomes so sick as to prevent the continuance of the

    juror's duty and an alternate juror is not available, or if any

    accident of circumstance occurs to prevent the jury from being

    kept together under circumstances under which the law or the

    instructions of the court requires that the jury be kept

    together, the jury shall be discharged, except that on agreement

    on the record by the defendant, the defendant's counsel, and the

    attorney representing the state 11 members of a jury may render a

    verdict and, if punishment is to be assessed by the jury, assess

    punishment. If a verdict is rendered by less than the whole

    number of the jury, each member of the jury shall sign the

    verdict.

    (d) After the jury has rendered a verdict on the guilt or

    innocence of the defendant and, if applicable, the amount of

    punishment, the court shall discharge an alternate juror who has

    not replaced a juror.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 2264, ch. 545, Sec. 2, eff.

    June 12, 1981; Subsec. (b) amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch.

    652, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Subsec. (c) amended by Acts

    1997, 75th Leg., ch. 866, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Art.

    heading amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1000, Sec. 1, eff.

    Sept. 1, 2001; Subsec. (a) amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch.

    1000, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

    Amended by:

    Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch.

    846, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.

    Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch.

    627, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

    Art. 36.30. DISCHARGING JURY IN MISDEMEANOR. If nine of the jury

    can be kept together in a misdemeanor case in the district court,

    they shall not be discharged. If more than three of the twelve

    are discharged, the entire jury shall be discharged.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.31. DISAGREEMENT OF JURY. After the cause is submitted

    to the jury, it may be discharged when it cannot agree and both

    parties consent to its discharge; or the court may in its

    discretion discharge it where it has been kept together for such

    time as to render it altogether improbable that it can agree.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.32. RECEIPT OF VERDICT AND FINAL ADJOURNMENT. During the

    trial of any case, the term shall be deemed to have been extended

    until such time as the jury has rendered its verdict or been

    discharged according to law.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Art. 36.33. DISCHARGE WITHOUT VERDICT. When a jury has been

    discharged, as provided in the four preceding Articles, without

    having rendered a verdict, the cause may be again tried at the

    same or another term.

    Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

    Texas Forms by Issue

    Texas Court Forms
    > Criminal
    > Civil (District)
    Texas Divorce Forms
    Texas Family Forms
    Texas Tax Forms

    Texas Law

    Texas State Laws
        > Hazelwood Act
        > Texas Attorney General Child Support
        > Texas Child Support
        > Texas Child Support Interactive
        > Texas Penal Code
        > Texas Statutes
    Texas State
        > Food Stamps Texas
        > Texas Cities
        > Texas State
        > Texas Zip Codes
    Texas Tax
        > Texas Franchise Tax
        > Texas Sales Tax
        > Texas State Tax
    Texas Court
        > Lawrence v. Texas
        > Texas Attorney General
        > Texas Public Records
        > Texas Supreme Court
        > Texas v. Johnson
    Texas Labor Laws
        > Minimum Wage in Texas
        > Texas Unemployment
        > Texas Unemployment Benefits
    Texas Agencies
        > Better Business Bureau Texas
        > Texas Commission on Fire Protection
        > Texas Department of Criminal Justice
        > Texas Department of Education
        > Texas Department of Health
        > Texas Department of Health and Human Services
        > Texas Department of Insurance
        > Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
        > Texas Department of State Health Services
        > Texas Department of Transportation
        > Texas DMV
        > Texas Film Commission
        > Texas Historical Commission
        > Texas Legislature
        > Texas Medicaid
        > Texas Real Estate Commission
        > Texas Secretary of State
        > Texas Secretary of State Corporations
        > Texas State Board of Public Accountancy
        > Texas Workforce Commssion

    Texas Court Map

    Tips