If you are convicted at trial in Texas, and you don’t reach an agreement for the sentence, your sentence will be decided after a punishment hearing.
What kind of evidence can the State offer at a punishment hearing?
During the punishment phase, both the State and defense may offer evidence as to “any matter the court deems relevant to sentencing,” including the circumstances of the offense for which he is charged. See TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 37.07, § 3(a)(1). Relevancy, in the context of punishment, is different than that contemplated by Texas Rule of Evidence 401 because, unlike the guilt/innocence phase where “facts of consequence” are narrowly drawn by the applicable statutes, there are no discrete factual issues to be determined at punishment. See Rogers v. State, 991 S.W.2d 263, 265 (Tex. Crim. App. 1999). Determining what is relevant then should be a question of what is helpful to the jury in determining the appropriate sentence for a particular defendant in a particular case. Id.