AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Rick Perry’s indictment — charges that carry penalties of up to 99 years in prison if convicted — leaves many questions about the next steps.
Monday, we learned the judge overseeing the indictment, Bert Richardson, will issue a summons for Perry as opposed to an arrest warrant. Under Texas law, warrants and summons are virtually identical; the main difference is that a warrant requires a defendant to be arrested while a summons requires he or she be in court at a specified date and time. State law allows a magistrate to issue either a warrant or a summons as he sees fit.
Perry’s court date has been set 9 a.m. on Aug. 22. However, his attorney tells KXAN that the governor has waived his right to an arraignment and will be in New Hampshire instead.
Since there is no warrant for his arrest, will only be required to show up on his court date. Typically, the defendant is arraigned at this hearing; the judge reads the charges against him and sets bond. It’s unlikely that Perry will have to pay bond. He’ll likely be allowed personal recognizance.
At this point, a defendant typically enters a plea. From this point, it could take a year or more for a case to go to trial. Many criminal cases are settled either with charges being dropped or plea agreements before they even go to trial. You can expect many pre-trial hearings in that court and then jury selection before the trial begins.
This case is in the 390th District Court– that is Democratic Judge Julie Kocurek’s court– she was originally appointed by Gov. George W. Bush but has recused herself from the trial. Judge Richardson was appointed to serve in her place.
Somewhere in this process is an actually booking into the justice system; Perry will be finger printed and have a mug shot taken.
KXAN News will have full coverage of Perry’s journey through the legal process.
This story was updated Monday, Aug. 18, to reflect the fact a summons would be issued for Perry. A Tuesday, Aug. 19, edit reflects an updated court date.