City of Laredo, Texas

Laredo Municipal Court

ATTORNEY/LAW FIRM

ATTORNEY / LAW FIRM

 

Notice of Appearance

No attorney shall be permitted to enter a plea for and on behalf of a defendant unless the attorney has been designated as the attorney of record for the defendant. An attorney must make file written notice with the clerk of the court to include the defendant's name, docket numbers of all cases being handled by the attorney, and the attorney's name, address, email address, fax number, and telephone number. Letters of representation and notices of appearance that list the names of additional attorneys in a law firm, are all deemed attorneys of record for the case(s) identified in the letter of representation or notice of appearance.

 

Open Court

Attorneys may appear at the court during the court's hours of operation to dispose of cases with or without active warrants. Cases may be disposed of during the court's hours of operation, when a pro-se defendant wishes to enter a plea of guilty or no contest, present proof of compliance, request deferred disposition, defensive driving, or establish or reinstate a payment plan. The municipal court judge has the discretion to require any case to be reset to permit the prosecutor an opportunity to be heard on the case(s).

 

Pre-trial Hearings

Attorneys must attend any scheduled pre-trial hearing. The purpose of the pre-trial hearing is to resolve the case prior to trial and to set for trial those cases that cannot be resolved. It is the responsibility of the attorney of record to advise his/her client of the terms of judgment entered against the client as a result of a plea agreement. No case will be set for a jury trial without an appearance by an attorney of record at the pre-trial. Once a case is set for jury trial, the defendant's appearance at each subsequent setting shall be required until.

 

Motions

General Requirements

All motions shall be in writing and filed with the municipal clerk with a courtesy copy sent to the prosecutor or defendant.

 

The filing of a motion in person shall be at:

Laredo Municipal Court

4610 Maher Ave.

Laredo, Texas 78041

 

The filing of a motion by mail shall be at:

Laredo Municipal Court

P O Box 579

Laredo, Texas 78042

 

The date of the postmark shall be designated as the date of filing of any motion received by mail. Unless otherwise provided herein, motions shall be filed no later than seven (7) days prior to the date of the pretrial hearing. Responses thereto, if any, shall be filed at least three (3) days prior to trial date. Service of a motion or response shall be made pursuant to law. Each motion or response shall contain a certificate of service signed by the movant or respondent indicating that a copy of such motion or response has been served upon the opposing party, the manner and date of service.

 

Motions for Continuance

Form:  Motions for continuance must comply with the requirements of Article 29.08 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure and shall be in writing, sworn and filed with the municipal clerk at least two (2) working days prior to the scheduled court date. In addition, said motions shall contain: (a) the cause number; (b) the name of the defendant; (c) the date and time of the setting for which the continuance is sought; (d) the specific facts justifying the continuance. If the reason for the continuance is a conflict with a setting in another court, the motion shall contain the style and cause number of the other case, as well as the court number and time of the conflict; (e) an oath attesting to the truth of the matters contained in the motion; and (f) a proposed order for the judge to designate whether the motion is "Granted" or "Denied."

 

Deadline:  Motions for continuance require good cause shown and will not be granted for delay purposes. A motion for continuance shall be filed with the court as soon as the attorney for the defendant, the prosecutor or pro-se defendant is aware of the necessity for seeking a continuance, but no later than two (2) days before the scheduled hearing or trial date.

 

Emergency Motion: Where the underlying facts (good cause) which form the basis for a motion for continuance were not discovered, and could not have been discovered through the exercise of due diligence prior to two (2) days before the scheduled trial date, an emergency motion for continuance may be filed, in writing or orally before the court. Such motion may be filed at any time prior to the respective court proceeding and will be ruled on by the judge at the call of the docket. The following factors will be considered in the determining whether a motion for continuance will be granted or denied: a) the specific nature of the conflict in scheduling; b) the age of the case; c) the number of previous continuances granted to each party; d) the timeliness of the filing of the motion, including the date on which the scheduling conflict, if any, became known to the movant; and e) any other matter relevant to the motion.

 

Denied Motions: If a defendant's motion for continuance is denied, in order for the defendant to avoid a warrant, a bond in the amount set by the court may be required to be posted, at the discretion of the judge denying the motion. It is the responsibility of the pro-se defendant or the counsel for defendant to determine whether the motion was granted or denied and to determine whether a bond is required. If a state's motion for continuance is denied, the case will proceed to trial, plea, or other disposition.

 

Note:  Failure to appear on the scheduled date will result in a $100.00 contempt charge being filed against you and a warrant may be issued for your client’s arrest.

 

Vacation letters. Attorneys shall file with the clerk of the court a vacation letter no less than sixty (60) days prior to the anticipated date that the vacation is to begin. If the vacation letter is not filed at least sixty (60) days prior to the vacation commencement date, the attorney shall file motions for continuance in each case set during the vacation period for the judge to consider.

 

Motions to withdraw. Any attorney who makes a written appearance on behalf of a defendant shall be deemed the attorney of record for that defendant until a written motion to withdraw is filed by that attorney and is granted by the court; or the case is disposed of by trial, plea, deferred disposition or attendance at a driver safety course, dismissal or substitution of counsel. A motion to withdraw as counsel may be granted without a hearing only if the moving attorney files a verified certificate stating the last known mailing address, telephone number, and email address of the defendant and describes what efforts have been made to locate the defendant. Additionally, counsel may file along with the motion to withdraw a written consent to the withdrawal signed by the defendant that acknowledges that the defendant has been advised of all future court settings and sets forth the current mailing address, telephone number, and email address (if one exists) of the defendant. Otherwise, a motion to withdraw must be presented to the court at a hearing after notice to the defendant and to all other parties.

 

Substitution of Counsel. A motion to substitute counsel shall be signed by the attorney who currently represents the defendant, as well as the attorney who wishes to undertake representation of the defendant. The motion must include an affirmative statement that the defendant has consented to the substitution. If a motion to withdraw as counsel for defendant also contains a motion to substitute counsel, a notice of appearance by another attorney, and a written agreement by the prosecution, the attorney named in the motion to substitute will thereafter be considered by the court as attorney of record for the defendant.

 

Discovery. In addition to and not in limitation of the provisions of Article 39.14 of the Code of Criminal Procedures, all requests for discovery of audio and video recordings from the Laredo Police Department shall be deemed timely made if they are made in writing on or before the first appearance date of the defendant whether in person or by his/her attorney of record. All other requests for discovery shall be deemed timely if they are made not less than fourteen (14) days prior to the date of the final trial setting.

 

For more information, please call (956)794-1675 or (956)794-1676 or email us at laredomunicipalcourt@ci.laredo.tx.us.

 

Laredo Municipal Court

4610 Maher Ave.

Laredo, TX  78041

Ph:  (956) 794-1680

Fax:  (956) 717-3407

Email:  laredomunicipalcourt@ci.laredo.tx.us

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