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  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

When you get arrested in Houston, Texas you're taken to 700 N San Jacinto St, Houston, TX 77002

When you get arrested in Houston, Texas you will be taken to the Joint Processing Center located at 700 N San Jacinto St, Houston, TX 77002. The police will change you into jail clothes, store your property including your cell phone and keys if they were not collected as evidence, and then take you before a Magistrate Judge at Probable Cause Court. The Judge will set a bond amount and you will be released from 700 N San Jacinto after you have made the bond with a bonding company.


What happens at Probable Cause Court in Houston, Texas?


Probable Cause Court is held multiple times a day 24 hours a day. It is held at 700 N San Jacinto St, Houston, TX 77002. There are multiple Magistrate Judges who are present at that location and see inmates at the Harris County Joint Processing center who have just been arrested for a criminal offense. Judges review the information presented by the District Attorney's office and make a decision if there is probable cause to hold you further or make you appear in court.



Probable Cause Court starts by the judge calling the name of the defendant and the prosecutor, who appears by closed circuit television, reading a summary of the police officer's statement about why the person was arrested. The police are almost never present to testify at these hearings. The Harris County Public Defender's Office is also present through closed circuit television and will make an argument to reduce the bail for each defendant as much as possible. Prosecutors and Public Defenders Office employees also work 24 hours a day.


What are the judges looking for to determine probable cause?


The Judge will be listening to the prosecutor to see if the summary from the police includes evidence of each of the elements of the offense.


for a DWI a judge is looking for the following elements:

  1. Operating a motor vehicle

  2. In Harris County

  3. On or about a certain date

  4. In a public place

  5. while the defendant was intoxicated.

If the police officer's summary includes a description of each of these things then the judge will find that there is probable cause for the case to continue to the trial court and require you to show up at a later date to that court.


So how much evidence does the prosecutor need to provide at this hearing? In practice all the prosecutor has to do is tell the judge that the officer believed you were intoxicated and drove your vehicle. Very little investigation is done at this point and again witnesses are almost never called. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt at a jury trial requires a much greater standard of evidence. These hearings occur so frequently and in such great numbers that they are less of a legal analysis by a judge and more like a rubber stamp when the officers have checked the right boxes on their forms.


If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Harris County, Texas or Houston, Texas call us today for a free consultation. 713-703-1718


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