Sec. 54A.006: Proceedings That May Be Referred

(a) A judge may refer to an associate judge any matter arising out of a criminal case involving:

(1) a negotiated plea of guilty or no contest before the court;

(2) a bond forfeiture;

(3) a pretrial motion;

(4) a writ of habeas corpus;

(5) an examining trial;

(6) an occupational driver's license;

(7) an appeal of an administrative driver's license revocation hearing;

(8) a civil commitment matter under Subtitle C, Title 7, Health and Safety Code;

(9) setting, adjusting, or revoking bond;

(10) the issuance of search warrants, including a search warrant under Article 18.02(a)(10), Code of Criminal Procedure, notwithstanding Article 18.01(c), Code of Criminal Procedure; and

(11) any other matter the judge considers necessary and proper.

(b) An associate judge may accept an agreed plea of guilty or no contest from a defendant charged with misdemeanor, felony, or both misdemeanor and felony offenses and may assess punishment if a plea agreement is announced on the record between the defendant and the state.

(c) An associate judge has all of the powers of a magistrate under the laws of this state and may administer an oath for any purpose.

(d) An associate judge may select a jury. Except as provided in Subsection (b), an associate judge may not preside over a trial on the merits, whether or not the trial is before a jury.


Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., 1st C.S., Ch. 3 (H.B. 79), Sec. 6.01, eff. January 1, 2012.

Amended by:

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 467 (H.B. 4170), Sec. 8.005, eff. September 1, 2019.