Remember back before the pandemic when you had to appear in person at municipal court? Well, defendants can now choose between appearing in person or appearing before the court remotely thanks to a new virtual Zoom Option.

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Defendants Can Select In-Person or Remote Sessions

Did you even know that this was an option? The photo at the top of the article was provided by the City of Victoria and shows projector screens inside the Municipal Court over on Juan Linn Street. A zoom feed is displayed onto the projector screens in the courtroom allowing you to have your day in court from your living room. Just remember that you still have to dress the part as you may have seen or heard about some courtrooms canceling a hearing if the defendant appears on-screen shirtless, or seems to be zooming from their bathroom.

Municipal Court Judge Vanessa Heinold said in a City of Victoria press release, "As we safely reopen the court to in-person attendance, we want to be mindful that the virtual hearings have been more convenient for many people, especially out-of-town defendants." So now the choice is up to you.

A Virtual Game Changer

This remote appearance option is becoming commonplace throughout Texas as the Office of Court Administration has recommended provided virtual options even though Texas has been open at 100% for some time. If as a defendant, you need to have a pretrial meeting with a prosecutor, those will also be able to be held virtually. For those without the ability to attend a virtual session, the court will continue to provide accommodations for those defendants.

Jury trials may also be held virtually, but according to a city press release, there are no pending jury trials at this time. Nice to know they are also prepared to offer this option.

Need More Info?

Victoria Municipal Court proceedings are broadcast on Youtube for the general public who are not allowed to be at a hearing in person. To ask questions or get more information on the new policy you can contact the court at 361-485-3050.

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