understanding texas felony procedure

Facing felony charges in Texas is a serious matter with potentially severe consequences. At Vargas Guerra LLP, we are committed to guiding our clients through the complex legal landscape of felony procedures, ensuring they are informed and prepared at every stage of the process. This page provides an overview of the key phases involved in navigating a felony case in Texas, from arrest to potential post-conviction relief.

Arrest and Initial Detainment

A felony procedure typically begins with an arrest, which may occur with a warrant issued based on probable cause or, in certain situations, without a warrant. Following the arrest, the accused is taken into police custody for booking, where personal information and details about the alleged crime are recorded.

Magistration and Bail

Shortly after booking, the accused appears before a magistrate for an initial hearing, where they are formally informed of the charges and their rights. During this hearing, bail is often determined, which may allow for the release of the accused from custody pending trial, depending on the severity of the charges and other factors such as flight risk.

Grand Jury and Indictment

In Texas, felony charges typically require an indictment by a grand jury, which is a panel of citizens tasked with determining whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a trial. If the grand jury issues an indictment, the case moves forward; if not, the charges may be dismissed.


Following an indictment, the accused will be arraigned in court. During arraignment, the defendant is formally charged and asked to enter a plea—guilty, not guilty, or no contest. It is crucial to have legal representation at this stage to help navigate plea options and their implications.

Pre-Trial Motions and Discovery

Before the trial begins, both the defense and prosecution engage in discovery, exchanging information and evidence related to the case. This phase may also involve filing pre-trial motions to challenge evidence, request a change of venue, or address other legal issues.


A felony trial in Texas can be before a jury or a judge, depending on the defendant's plea and other factors. The trial process includes the selection of a jury, opening statements, presentation of evidence and witness testimony, cross-examination, closing arguments, and finally, a verdict.


If the defendant is found guilty, the case moves to the sentencing phase. Felony sentences in Texas vary widely depending on the class of felony, the defendant's criminal history, and specific circumstances of the case. Sentences may include imprisonment, fines, probation, and other penalties.


A defendant has the right to appeal a felony conviction if they believe legal errors affected the trial's outcome. An appellate court reviews the trial's proceedings but typically does not re-examine the evidence.

Post-Conviction Relief

In some cases, individuals convicted of felonies may seek post-conviction relief, such as habeas corpus petitions, to challenge their conviction or sentence based on new evidence or violations of constitutional rights.

Why Choose Vargas Guerra LLP for Felony Defense?

At Vargas Guerra LLP, we provide vigorous defense for individuals facing felony charges. Our experienced legal team understands the gravity of felony accusations and works tirelessly to protect our clients' rights and freedoms. With a comprehensive approach to defense and a commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes, we stand ready to navigate the complexities of the Texas felony procedure alongside you.

For dedicated legal representation in your felony case, contact Vargas Guerra LLP today.