Magistrates


All judges are magistrates. Article 2.09, Code of Criminal Procedure. All magistrates have co-equal jurisdiction with all other magistrates within the county and their jurisdiction is coextensive with the limits of the county. Gilbert v. State, 493 S.W.2d 783 (Tex. Crim. App. 1973), and Ex parte Clear, 573 S.W.2d 224 (Tex. Crim. App. 1978). As a magistrate, municipal judges are authorized to warn adult offenders of their respective rights as required by law.

The duties of arresting peace officers and of magistrates are detailed in the Code of Criminal Procedure.  Article 14.06 provides that peace officers must take the accused before a magistrate when a warrantless arrest is made pursuant to one of the exceptions to the warrant requirement. Such exceptions are stated in Chapter 14. Similarly, Article 15.17 requires that individuals arrested pursuant to a warrant also be brought before a magistrate. Presentation before a magistrate must take place without unnecessary delay, but in no event more than 48 hours after the person is arrested.

Generally, a magistrate is involved in the preliminary stages of a criminal proceeding. Such proceedings involve adults accused of criminal offenses. Because the juvenile justice laws in Texas are civil proceedings, the preliminary stages of a child being taken into custody are governed by Title 3 of the Texas Family Code, not Article 15.17 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. In this sense, children who are taken into custody are not “magistrated” in the same manner as adults. Magistrates are, however, frequently involved in the procedures governing the taking of a confession by a child.

For more information on the role of magistrates, see:

 

 


For more information, see the following:

Consular Notification and Access

Mexican Consulates in Texas