Even though it's not one of the most populous counties in Texas, Bosque County gets a lot of traffic. It's located in one prime deer hunting areas in the State. There are a number of ranches throughout the county, and an increasing number of "high fenced" ranches catering specifically to deer hunters. Since its fairly close to Dallas and Fort Worth, its also a popular specific for weekend getaways.

The two biggest cities in Bosque County are Meridian and Clifton. Meridian is the county seat, and that is where the courthouse is located. As with many courthouses in central Texas it is a beautiful, historic building that has been recently renovated.

Misdemeanor Arrest in Bosque County

If you are arrested for a misdemeanor in Bosque County, your case will be handled by the County Attorney, and heard in the County Court. In fiscal year 2013, which runs from September 1 to August 31, 406 new cases were filed according to the office of Court administration. For that same period, 466 cases were disposed of, which means cases are handled promptly. This only covers misdemeanors, such as DWI, possession of marijuana, simple assault and theft. It does not include felonies, which are handled elsewhere.

Several highways run though Bosque County, such as State Highway 6 which runs through Meridian, Clifton Valley Mills and goes into Waco. There's also State Highway 22 which runs into Lake Whitney, and on to Hillsboro. There are also several other highways such as 176 which runs through Morgan, and 144 which goes through Walnut Springs. Of course that doesn't include all the minor Farm to Market and County roads.

With the number of highways going through the County, its not unusual to see persons arrested by the officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety, as well as the Sheriff's office. No matter where you arrested though, your case will be filed - and heard - in Meridian.

About Bosque County & The Courthouse

There are several major attractions in Bosque County. Part of one of the State's largest lakes is located in Bosque County. A State Park - Meridian State Park - is also located in Bosque County.

Cllifton is noted for its Norwegian culture, and has annual festival every year that draws visitors from throughout the State.

Unlike some of the bigger counties, you should your misdemeanor in Bosque County to be handled quickly. The County judge watches the docket closely, and makes sure cases move. As noted above, they dispose of as many - if not more - cases than are filed each year. Unless there are unusual circumstances, you should expect your case to be resolved within 90-120 days unless a trial is necessary.

Also unlike bigger counties, Bosque County has a county attorney, who handles all of the misdemeanors. While there is a District Attorney, his office only handles felony cases. That's a difference from many bigger counties, where the DA's office will handle both misdemeanor and felony offenses.

What To Exspect If You Get Arrested

So what can you expect if you are arrested for a misdemeanor in Bosque County? Since they move cases fairly quickly, you will receive notice of several court settings; unlike bigger counties, you will recieve one letter that has all of your court dates. The first setting is an arraignment; that hearing is generally designed to advise the defendant of what they are charged with, tell them what there rights are, and find out if they are going to be represented by a lawyer. If you hire a lawyer before the arraignment date you can sign a waiver, and won't have to show up. That will be the only hearing you don't have to appear for.

The next court date will be a pre-trial hearing. This is the date where any motions would be heard by the court, such as motions for discovery or motions to suppress. You must attend this hearing, even if there are no motions to be heard. The next hearing will be a final pre-trial hearing. This hearing is to consider any matters that may not have been resolved at the first pre-trial, and determine the status of the case. If the case is not disposed of by then, there will be a final pre-trial conference, which is the last setting before the trial date. If the case is going to plead, it generally must be done by then; if not you are going to trial on the date scheduled.

By setting all the dates at the beginning, the cases move differently than they would in bigger counties. For instance, in McLennan County, the case might be for a plea, and then subsquently moved to the trial docket. If there are motions to suppress, or motions that require evidence, you must obtain a special date to hear them. You don't get a trial date until later in the process, unlike Bosque County, where you're trial date will be included in your first notice.

There are far worse places to be arrested. Like many smaller counties, the court personell and staff are all friendly. The courthouse is worth the trip. It's a beautiful building, and court is held in the main courtroom, which is the same court where felony cases are heard. It's a large courtroom, designed back in the day when attending trials was a spectator event so there is a large gallery area. Getting there is easy, since Meridian is at the intersection of Highway 6 and Highway 22. And no matter which way you, it's a scenic drive.

Walter Reaves
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Criminal Defense Attorney Walter Reaves has been practicing law for over 35 years.