Criminal Court Cases Could Move Faster with Newly Appointed Magistrate Judge


SAN ANGELO – Tom Green County Commissioners Tuesday officially consented to the appointment of San Angelo attorney Tommy LaFon as Criminal Court Magistrate by the four District Judges during their regular meeting.  

District Judges Jay Weatherby and Carmen Dusek presented LaFon to the court for its consent and approval.  LaFon will serve as a magistrate judge for the four district courts, the courts at law, and the Justice of the Peace Courts in Tom Green County.  

Magistrate judges are appointed by judges of the district court for a term of eight years. They may dispose of minor criminal offenses and may hold bench or jury trials in civil actions on consent of the parties.

According to the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center, generally, a magistrate is involved in the preliminary stages of a criminal proceeding. Such proceedings involve adults accused of criminal offenses. Article 15.17 of the Texas Criminal Code requires that individuals arrested pursuant to a warrant also be brought before a magistrate. Presentation before a magistrate must take place without unnecessary delay, but in no event more than 48 hours after the person is arrested.

LaFon will preside in a small courtroom facility in the Tom Green County Courthouse beginning in January.  The purpose of the Magistrate Court is to help the existing courts move more efficiently and Constitutionally through the docket of criminal cases pending.  

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