What is a Sheriff?
The sheriff acts as a conservator of the peace and the executive officer of the county and district courts, serve writs and processes of the courts, seizes property after judgment, enforce traffic laws on county roads and supervises the county jail and prisoners. In counties of fewer than 10,000 residents, he may also serve as ex officio tax assessor and collector.
What Does a Sheriff Do in Texas?
A sheriff in Texas has the following duties:
- Serves as a licensed peace officer and is responsible for enforcing the criminal laws of the state
- Manages and operates the county jail
- Provides security for the courts
- Serves warrants and civil papers
- Regulates bail bondsmen in counties with no bail bond board
For more complete information about the responsibilities of a county sheriff and other county officials, see the "Guide to Texas Laws for County Officials."
Please note: Some duties performed by officials may vary within individual counties.
Sheriffs are required to attain 40 hours of continuing education every two years.
See the full continuing education requirements and more.
County Sheriff Qualifications8
The County Sheriff must meet the following qualifications at the time of appointment or election:
- U.S. Citizen
- Resident of Texas for at least 12 consecutive months
- Resident of the county for at least six consecutive months
- Registered to vote in the county
- At least 18 years of age
- Not have been finally convicted of a felony from which they have not been pardoned or otherwise released from the resulting disabilities
- Not have been determined by a court with probate jurisdiction to be totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote
Candidates for this office generally must meet the above qualifications at the time of filing.
For more information, see the Secretary of State Elections Division website
Legal source: Local Government Code, Section 85.0025
8Vernon's Ann. Texas Const. Art. 5, §23; V.T.C.A., Election Code §141.001; Local Government Code §85.0011
What is the Difference Between Sheriff, Police and Constable?