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Harris County District Courts Video Conference Plea Hearings - UPDATED 4/27/2020 4/27/2020

Harris County District Courts Video Conference Plea Hearings


Beginning Monday, April 27, 2020, District Courts will begin holding Video Conference Plea Hearings for certain cases set for plea.  These hearings will be conducted via Zoom Video Conference.  Parties to the hearings may appear in person or remotely, except for the defendant who will appear via Zoom from a designated location in the jail. 


Until further notice, ONLY the following cases are eligible for Virtual:

  1. A plea to time served, where the defendant is eligible for same day release; and/or

  2. A plea to probation, where the defendant will be released the same day the plea is taken.

 The case must also be pending in one of these courts:

















(Please check www.justex.net for updates to this list)


Defense attorneys are advised to notify the Court Coordinator of any eligible cases.  Cases will be then referred and centrally docketed by the Virtual Plea Coordinator. 


The Virtual Plea Coordinator will instruct the defense attorneys to schedule a client interview with the Sheriff’s Office to discuss the plea or to sign the plea paperwork.  Please refer to instructions posted here: HOW TO - REMOTE PLEA PROCESS


Once plea papers are completed, the defense attorney will notify the Virtual Plea Coordinator, who will schedule or confirm the date and time of the Virtual Plea hearing and notify all parties of the scheduled plea.  Notification will include the court’s CLO, Clerk, ADA, and defense attorney. 
The deputy district clerk will prepare the judgment for signature by the judge.

The Virtual Plea Hearings will be held Monday through Thursday from 11:30-1:30.

In compliance with the emergency order mandated by the Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals all proceedings will be accessible to the public via
 Video Conference Plea Hearing - Live Stream

On the day of the hearing, the Virtual Plea Coordinator and Judge will be responsible for initiating the ZOOM session and maintaining control of the Virtual Plea hearing.  The defendant will see and read the electronically prepared plea papers and sign with a tablet computer provided by the bailiff at the jail.  The bailiff will secure the signature and fingerprint for the judgment.

For probation pleas, the hearing will allow for a Zoom “breakout room” for defendant and CLO to discuss the probation terms.

Questions regarding the hearings or related processes may be directed to Tramesha Richard, at tramesha_richard@justex.net or (832) 927-6617.

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Last Updated 11;45am April 27, 2020.

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