Criminal FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

The information below represents the most common questions asked regarding criminal cases.

  1. How can I find out if someone is in jail?
    • There are two methods to identify if someone is currently in jail or not. The first is to use the internet search option found on the District Clerk's website. In order to search you must have the Offender's Full Name, Offender's Date of Birth, and the Criminal Identification Number (if possible). The other option is to call the Jail and ask them if the person is in jail. You will need to provide the same information about the Offender in order for the jail staff to locate the person. Proper spelling of the person's name is critical.
  2. How can I obtain a criminal background check?
    • To obtain a criminal background check, contact the criminal department of the District Clerk's Office at 254-933-5200. All requests must be in writing and on Agency letterhead.
  3. Can anyone request a criminal background check?
    • Yes. Criminal background checks are $5.00 per check. Copies of specific documents or judgments cost $.50 per page for regular copies, and $1.00 per page for certified copies.
  4. Can I review the documents that are on file for my case?
    • There are two ways of reviewing documents on a case. You may visit the District Clerk's Office and ask to see the entire file on record with the District Clerk. You may also request copies of documents. Copies are $.50 per page for regular copies and $1.00 per page for certified copies. Click here to visit the Copy Request webpage.
  5. What is an expunction and how do I file one?
    • Expunctions completely remove an offense from a person's criminal record. They are filed with the District Clerk Civil Department and must be granted/approved by a Judge. The District Clerk's Office is prohibited from providing legal advice on how to file an expunction. Contact an attorney or research the internet or a public law library. There are fees associated with filing an expunction. The base filing fee is currently $242.00. There are fees associated with certified mailing the petition and final expunction out to various agencies. The current fee is $8.00 per document per agency. Other fees may apply.
  6. How do I get back the money I put up for a cash bond?
    • A cash bond is released when a case has been disposed of. The judge must enter an order authorizing the District Clerk
  7. If I bail someone out of jail, when will I get my money back?
    • It could take months. If you post a cash bond, you may get some or all of your cash bond back, but it won't be until the case is finished and the necessary paperwork has been processed. If you posted bond using a bonding agent, generally no money is returned.
  8. When is it appropriate to request a cash bond be released?
    • When the trial is over, the attorney of record typically drafts a court order to release the cash bond.
  9. How can I find out how much money I owe?
    • Contact the Criminal Department at the District Clerk's Office at 254-933-5200.
  10. What can I do if I cannot pay my court costs, fees, or fines?
    • It is possible to establish a payment plan for those who cannot pay the court costs, fees, and/or fines in full. Visit the Criminal Department of the District Clerk's Office in order to inquire. Click here to review the forms necessary for establishing a payment plan.
  11. How do I find out the amount of a bond is to release someone from jail?
    • Only the judge can set the amount of bond and authorize its issuance. You can contact the sheriff's office at 254-933-5400 to verify if the judge has set the bond amount.
  12. Who do I contact to get a bond?
    • There are three types of bond, a surety bond, a personal bond, and a cash bond. Click here for a list of bond companies.
  13. What is a Surety bond?
    • A surety bond is an agreement between one or more persons and a bond agent where the bond agent agrees to post the necessary bail/bond so that a defendant can be released from jail. Typically, the persons seeking a surety bond must put up a percentage of the total amount for collateral.
  14. What is a Cash¯ bond?
    • A cash bond is where money, in the amount of the bond, is posted so that a defendant can be released from jail.
  15. Where do I present a cash bond¯ to get someone released from jail?
    • During regular business hours, 8 AM - 5 PM Monday - Friday, you will pay the cash amount of the bond to the District Clerk's Office at 1201 Huey Road, Belton, Texas. Click here for directions. The District Clerk's Office will provide an official receipt that can be taken to the jail as proof the bond has been paid. If the District Clerk's Office is not open, you will pay the cash amount of the bond directly to the Jail where the person is being held.
  16. What is a "Personal" bond?
    • A personal bond is essentially the defendant's own word that he will appear on his own recognizance. The fee amount is generally 3% of the bond amount. Contact 254-933-5407 or 254-933-5258.
  17. The deferred adjudication of my guilt and placed me on probation and my probation has since been terminated. Is this record available to potential employers?
    • Yes. The District Clerk will always have a record of the action taken on your case, even in instances of deferred adjudication. Article 42.12, section 5(f), Code of Criminal Procedure specifically states that a record in the custody of the District Clerk regarding a case in which a person is granted deferred adjudication is not confidential. Contact an attorney to determine if you are eligible for obtaining a non-disclosure order. http://www.courts.state.tx.us/oca/nondisclosure/index.asp
  18. If someone stole my identity and was convicted of a crime, is it possible to have my name removed from these records?
    • Yes. Article 55.02, Code of Criminal Procedure explains how to do this (called an expunction of records). Contact an attorney to advise you of your legal rights.
  19. Where do I file charges against someone who has committed a crime?
    • If you are the victim of a crime, you should contact the nearest local law enforcement agency to conduct an investigation.
  20. As the victim of a crime, where can I go to get information or assistance concerning the status or outcome of the case?
    • You can obtain information from the District Attorney's Office Victim's Services Coordinator.