Arismendez v. State

In Arismendez v. State, 595 S.W.2d 535 (Tex. Crim. App. 1980), the defendant waived his right to trial by jury and entered a plea of nolo contendere to the court. Id. at 535. After hearing evidence, the trial court found the defendant guilty and allowed the defendant to elect to have punishment assessed by a jury. Id. The court of criminal appeals concluded that this procedure was improper because a guilty or nolo contendere plea proceeding should not be bifurcated. Id. According to the court, there was a waiver of the right to trial by jury, therefore, punishment should have been assessed by the court, and this should have been done without bifurcation from trial of the issue of guilt. Id. at 535-36.