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Federal Court Information for Waco or Ft. Hood Cases

Federal Court Information for Waco or Ft. Hood Cases

Criminal Defense Attorney Russell Dr. Hunt, Jr. has represented hundreds of clients accused of Federal crimes.

 Mr. Hunt regularly represents persons arrested or accused of committing Federal crimes.  Russ has more than 20 years of practice experience in District Courts in Central Texas and across the Western District of Texas. If you or a loved one is dealing with Federal criminal charges, we're ready to help--24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Please don't delay in seeking legal representation for your federal criminal case.

Map of Waco Division
Waco Division, WDTX



If you have been accused of a Federal crime in the Waco division of the Western District of Texas, which includes cases occurring in Waco and Fort Hood, among the many other Texas counties as illustrated in the division map above.

You will attend scheduled appearances in the Waco or Fort Hood Federal Courthouse:

Waco Federal Courthouse Location

United States Courthouse
800 Franklin Avenue
Waco, TX 76701

Link to Judges' Calendars for Waco and Fort Hood Federal Courts

The website for the Western District of Texas courts has a page with links to the current calendars for all of the judges in the district.  The calendars are dynamically generated and update as changes are made, but be aware that the calendars may not be complete.  Fort Hood is part of the "Waco division" so Fort Hood case settings are located at the bottom of the page in the "Waco" court subheading.

Link to Western District of Texas Judges' Calendars
CLICK IMAGE ABOVE TO VIEW FEDERAL JUDGE'S CALENDARS

Parking for the Waco Federal Courthouse

The area around the United States Courthouse in Waco provides plenty of free street parking, and there are also paid-only parking lots, but you will not be reimbursed for parking expenses. 

Arriving at Court

Local rules require clients to arrive at least 15 minutes before court, so it is a good idea to plan to arrive well before scheduled appearances so you can have time to chat with your attorney about last-minute details.  Be aware that entry to the courthouse requires passage through a metal detector, and an x-ray machine which will scan all bags and coats. Certain items cannot be carried into the courthouse such as weapons and drug paraphernalia. Security personnel will confiscate them and they may not be returned even if the items themselves are ordinarily legal to possess. Possession of illegal items will result in your arrest.  You can ensure that your appearance goes smoothly by wearing appropriate clothing like slacks and button-up shirt for men, and a nice dress or slacks and blouse for women.  

Personnel at United States courthouses enforce a strong and specific set of security rules.  Plan to bring a photo identification card to present when you walk in. 

United States District Judges for Western District-Waco Division


U.S. District Judge Robert L. Pitman

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeff Manske

General Outline of Court Appearances in Federal District Court


If you or a loved one has just been charged with a Federal criminal offense, you may be wondering what happens next.  Fortunately, while your individual case is unique, the Federal criminal court process follows a predictable pattern:

  • The first appearance in federal court after arrest or charge is called an "Initial Appearance," and at this setting the magistrate judge will explain the charges and ranges of punishment.  He may also release you on bond at this time.
  • For cases that have not yet been indicted, the first court appearances after initial appearance are the "Preliminary Examination" and "Detention Hearing."  These hearings are commonly combined and conducted as a bond hearing at which the Government presents evidence regarding their case to establish probable cause and flight risk factors.
  • After indictment the case will be scheduled for an "Arraignment," which is technically a court hearing where the judge reads the formal charges in the indictment to the defendant, although this court appearance is normally waived and a plea of "Not Guilty" entered
  • Following the Arraignment, the District Court will issue a scheduling order with some or all of the following dates:
  • Motions filing deadline
  • Status conference
  • Plea agreement deadline
  • Pretrial motions hearing
  • Rearraignment or plea date
  • Final status conference
  • Jury selection and trial

Unlike in State court, there will not be periodic "check-in" dates.  Also unlike in State court, the deadlines and schedules issued at the initiation of the case are fairly rigid due to the federal Speedy Trial Act.  The client's attendance is always required at all court appearances in Federal court.

Ft. Hood Federal Courthouse Location

MG Williams Justice Center
Bldg. 5794, Tank Destroyer Blvd.
Fort Hood, Texas 76544-0507

Parking for the Ft. Hood Federal Courthouse

The Federal justice center at Ft. Hood is a former golf course clubhouse, so there is a healthy amount of free street parking, but occasionally the lot fills up and clients must park at a lot located approximately 150 yards from the courthouse building.

Arriving and Entering Ft. Hood

Making entry onto Ft. Hood can be a challenge for those not used to the process or pre-approved for entry onto the military installation.

For individuals not preauthorized to enter post, they must receive clearance at the  Fort Hood Marvin Leath Visitor Welcome Center. 

The Visitor's Center is open 24 hours a day and is located at 

Marvin Leath Visitors Center
Battalion Avenue
Building #69012
Cross Street: T.J. Mills Boulevard
Fort Hood, TX 76544-0000
 
As reflected in the map to the right of this page.
 
Entry on post is highly secure and clearance requires that entrants bring various documents as detailed in the following information from the Visitor Center's website:

All persons requesting a pass are required to undergo security vetting prior to receiving a visitor pass. Non-DoD persons 17 and under are not required to present photo ID unless operating a motor vehicle. Non-DoD persons age 16 years and older operating a vehicle must present a valid driver's license, valid vehicle registration and valid proof of insurance for the vehicle they are operating. Non-DoD passengers of adult age, riding in the non-DoD person's vehicle are also required to undergo security vetting prior to receiving a passenger-only pass.  

 At busy times such as morning rush hour there can be a long line for entry passes at the Visitor's center, so it is best to program 30 minutes wait time just in case of delay.  Also it is wise to ensure that the required documents such as driver's license, insurance and car registration are all up to date before the morning of court.

Once the entry authorization is obtained, the authorized person may drive onto the military installation through the military checkpoint.  The checkpoint at the south gate is most convenient to the visitor's center, but the checkpoint at the West gate to Ft. Hood is more convenient to the courthouse.  Once again, these checkpoints are very busy during rush hours and traffic may slow significantly during entry through the checkpoints.  It is also important to note that vehicles entering through the checkpoints are subject to random searches and any contraband located will delay entry and probably lead to arrest and new charges being filed.

Arriving at Court

Local rules require clients to arrive at least 15 minutes before court, so it is a good idea to plan to arrive well before scheduled appearances so you can have time to chat with your attorney about last-minute details.  Be aware that entry to the courthouse requires passage through a metal detector. Certain items cannot be carried into the courthouse such as weapons and drug paraphernalia. Military security personnel will confiscate them and they may not be returned even if the items themselves are ordinarily legal to possess. Possession of illegal items will result in your arrest.  You can ensure that your appearance goes smoothly by wearing appropriate clothing like slacks and button-up shirt for men, and a nice dress or slacks and blouse for women.  

Personnel at United States courthouses enforce a strong and specific set of security rules.  Plan to bring a photo identification card to present when you walk in. 

United States Judge for Western District-Ft. Hood Division

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeff Manske

General Outline of Court Appearances in U.S. Magistrate Court


If you or a loved one has just been charged with a Federal criminal offense on Ft. Hood, you may be wondering what happens next.  Fortunately, while your individual case is unique, the Federal magistrate criminal court process follows a predictable pattern:

  • The first appearance in federal court after arrest or charge is called an "Initial Appearance," and at this setting the magistrate judge will explain the charges and ranges of punishment.  
  • For cases where detention was ordered, the first court appearance after the initial appearance is a "Detention Hearing."  This is a bond hearing at which the Government will present evidence regarding their case to establish flight risk factors.
  • The next court date is an "Arraignment," which is technically a court hearing where the judge reads the formal charges in the information to the defendant
  • In practice, this court appearance is normally either conducted as a "guilty plea" hearing, or if a trial is desired, the formal arraignment is normally waived and a plea of "Not Guilty" entered
  • Trial settings are generally only a matter of a few weeks or possibly as long a couple of months following the waived Arraignment hearing

Unlike in State court, there will not be periodic "check-in" dates.  Also unlike in State court, the deadlines and schedules issued at the initiation of the case are fairly rigid due to the federal Speedy Trial Act.  Finally, unlike in State court, there is only a right to jury trial if the maximum potential sentence is one year or more; thus, a a jury trial is not available for most misdemeanor charges such as DWI and theft cases.  The client's attendance is always required at all court appearances in Federal court.

Hire a Good Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

Since the consequences for criminal charges can be severe, you shouldn't leave your situation to chance—never attend court appearances without skilled legal representation.  

Federal criminal defense is a complex area of law that deals with challenging legal and scientific issues, and whose procedural and technical rules are different in many ways than those in State court. Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Russell D. Hunt Jr. can provide outstanding legal representation to individuals arrested and facing Federal criminal charges. 

Russ Hunt, Jr. is known for powerful, compassionate representation.
Schedule your free no-obligation case evaluation.
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You Are Not Alone

Criminal charges bring some of the toughest stress you'll ever deal with. In difficult times--and especially against the tough state and federal prosecutors in Williamson and Travis counties--you'll need an aggressive and determined advocate by your side. An accessible and dedicated ally, Russ tirelessly fights for your best possible outcome.

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