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  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

Houston Criminal Defense Attorney - Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 2.17 Duties of Sheriff.

As a criminal defense attorney practicing in Texas, it's important to have a thorough understanding of the state's laws related to criminal procedure. One such law is Art. 2.17, which outlines the duties and responsibilities of sheriffs as conservators of the peace in their respective counties.


According to this law, each sheriff in Texas is responsible for arresting all offenders against the laws of the state that they witness or hear about. The sheriff is then required to take these offenders before the proper court for examination or trial. This means that if you are accused of a crime in Texas, there is a good chance that you will be arrested by a sheriff and taken into custody.



In addition to their duties related to arrests, Texas sheriffs are also responsible for quelling and suppressing all assaults and batteries, affrays, insurrections, and unlawful assemblies. This means that if a situation arises where there is a potential for violence or unrest, it is the sheriff's responsibility to intervene and prevent it from escalating.

Finally, the law requires that sheriffs apprehend and commit to jail all offenders until an examination or trial can be had. This means that if you are arrested, you may be held in jail until your case can be heard in court.


If you read this law literally then you would assume that a sheriff should not honor any bonds as it has a requirement to apprehend and commit to jail all offenders, until an examination or trial can be had. This is a reference to an examining trial. That is a special type of trial where the rules of evidence apply and the judge determines if there is probable cause to continue to detain a suspect. If the District Attorney takes the case to the Grand Jury and receives and indictment or "true bill" then the examining trial is not necessary.


Art. 2.17. CONSERVATOR OF THE PEACE. Each sheriff shall be a conservator of the peace in his county, and shall arrest all offenders against the laws of the State, in his view or hearing, and take them before the proper court for examination or trial. He shall quell and suppress all assaults and batteries, affrays, insurrections and unlawful assemblies. He shall apprehend and commit to jail all offenders, until an examination or trial can be had. Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.

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