(a) A complaint is sufficient, without regard to its form, if it substantially satisfies the following requisites:
(1) it must be in writing;
Terms Used In Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 45.019
- complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
- defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- in writing: includes any representation of words, letters, or figures, whether by writing, printing, or other means. See Texas Government Code 312.011
- Justice: when applied to a magistrate, means justice of the peace. See Texas Government Code 312.011
- Population: means the population shown by the most recent federal decennial census. See Texas Government Code 311.005
- Signature: includes the mark of a person unable to write, and "subscribe" includes the making of such a mark. See Texas Government Code 312.011
- sworn: includes affirm or affirmed. See Texas Government Code 312.011
- trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
(2) it must commence “In the name and by the authority of the State of Texas”;
(3) it must state the name of the accused, if known, or if unknown, must include a reasonably definite description of the accused;
(4) it must show that the accused has committed an offense against the law of this state, or state that the affiant has good reason to believe and does believe that the accused has committed an offense against the law of this state;
(5) it must state the date the offense was committed as definitely as the affiant is able to provide;
(6) it must bear the signature or mark of the affiant; and
(7) it must conclude with the words “Against the peace and dignity of the State” and, if the offense charged is an offense only under a municipal ordinance, it may also conclude with the words “Contrary to the said ordinance”.
(b) A complaint filed in justice court must allege that the offense was committed in the county in which the complaint is made.
(c) A complaint filed in municipal court must allege that the offense was committed in the territorial limits of the municipality in which the complaint is made.
(d) A complaint may be sworn to before any officer authorized to administer oaths.
(e) A complaint in municipal court may be sworn to before:
(1) the municipal judge;
(2) the clerk of the court or a deputy clerk;
(3) the city secretary; or
(4) the city attorney or a deputy city attorney.
(f) If the defendant does not object to a defect, error, or irregularity of form or substance in a charging instrument before the date on which the trial on the merits commences, the defendant waives and forfeits the right to object to the defect, error, or irregularity. Nothing in this article prohibits a trial court from requiring that an objection to a charging instrument be made at an earlier time.
(g) In a county with a population of more than two million that does not have a county attorney, a complaint for an offense under Section 32.41, Penal Code, must be approved by the district attorney, regardless of whether a collection proceeding is initiated by the district attorney under Section 32.41(e), Penal Code.