Jury Charges for Texas Defense Attorneys, Part 3
By Sholdon Daniels
Welcome back to part 3 of our 3-part series on jury charges. Today we're discussing the final charge, which includes the process for making changes to the main charge, presenting objections, and finalizing the charge to be read to the jury.
Once the judge has received objections to the main charge and any special charges offered, he or she may make changes as deemed necessary. The defendant or their counsel will then have the opportunity to present objections in the same manner as outlined in Article 36.15.
The judge will then read the final charge to the jury, along with any special charges given. After this point, no further objections or exceptions will be required of the defendant to preserve any previous objections or exceptions.
It's important to note that after the argument begins, no further charge will be given to the jury unless required by improper counsel arguments or the request of the jury. If further charge is required, the defendant or their counsel will have the right to present objections in the same manner as prescribed in Article 36.15.
Remember, the failure of the court to give the defendant or their counsel a reasonable time to examine the charge and specify the grounds of objection may be subject to review in the trial court or appellate court.
Lastly, any general charge given by the court and all special charges given or refused will be certified by the judge and filed among the papers in the cause. The jury may take the charges given by the court to their jury room after they've been filed, but they won't be permitted to take any charge or part thereof that the court has refused to give.
You need to follow the guidelines and procedures outlined in these statutes to ensure a fair and impartial trial for your client. I'm available to consult with you or your firm regarding potential jury charge language, or if you're a defendant, I'd be happy to speak with you about your case to see how I can help you.
As always, if you have any questions about this topic or any other legal issues, feel free to contact me at 1-844-SHOLDON or follow me on Twitter at @SholdonDaniels.