Baldwin County Criminal Court

Baldwin County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Baldwin County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Baldwin County.

Plea Agreements

A Plea Agreement, sometimes known as a Plea Bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant, where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest often in exchange for a lesser charge or lighter recommended sentence. A large majority of criminal cases end in a plea agreement. In Baldwin County you can inform your attorney to negotiate with the prosecution to attempt to come to a plea agreement, but this is dependent upon the charge severity and also the prosecutors willingness to accept a plea deal.

The Right to Counsel

The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.

Baldwin County Criminal Court

Baldwin County Criminal Court

I need help for my Baldwin County criminal case

The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Baldwin County court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Baldwin County will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.

Defendant Sentencing

At a sentence hearing the judge will inform the defendant of the sentence that will be imposed. This sometimes occurs at the same hearing in which the defendant is found guilty (either by trial or plea agreement). In can also occur at a later date, most often this is due to the complexity of the case where more time is needed to determine the appropriate sentence.

What is the Burden of Proof?

The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

Required Court Appearances in Baldwin County

Any required court appearances in Baldwin County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.

What is Jury Deliberation?

After both the prosecution and defense have presented their cases, the judge in the case will provide instructions to the jury about what they must decide. The jury will be dismissed to the jury room where they will deliberate about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. After reaching a unaminous decision, they return their decision to the court where it is read aloud in the courtroom. If the jury is unable to reach a unaminous decision, the jury is deadlocked, also known as a hung jury, in which a mistrial will be declared.

Where will Baldwin County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Baldwin County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Baldwin County.

Appealing a guilty verdict

A defendant may appeal a guilty verdict to an appellate court. This is not a request to have another trial, but a request for an appellate court to review the case and determine that it was handled in a correct legal manner. There are a number of outcomes in an appeal including an upholding of the conviction, a finding that errors were made resulting in a retrial or resentencing or possibly a complete disimissal of all charges.

The Right to Trial by Jury

The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by a jury. This is applicable for when the crime can carry a sentence of 6 months in jail OR a $500 fine, these are known as “Serious Crimes”. The defendant can also waive their right to a speedy and public trial.

Baldwin County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Baldwin County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Baldwin County Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In Baldwin County a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.

Who is the prosecutor for Baldwin County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Baldwin County criminal cases will either be a representative of Baldwin County or a representative from Alabama. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.

Baldwin County Criminal Court Locations

  • Baldwin County Circuit Court

    Address: 312 Courthouse Square, #10, Bay Minette AL 36507
    Phone: 251-937-0280 (Criminal)

  • Baldwin County Circuit Court – Fairhope Satellite Courthouse

    Address: 1100 Fairhope Ave, Fairhope AL 36532
    Phone: 251-990-4624

  • Baldwin County Circuit Court – Foley Satellite Courthouse

    Address: 201 E Section St, Foley AL 36535
    Phone: 251-972-6818

  • Baldwin County District Court

    Address: 312 Courthouse Square, #10, Bay Minette AL 36507
    Phone: 251-937-0375 (Civil/Small Claims)

  • Baldwin County District Court – Fairhope Satellite Courthouse

    Address: 1100 Fairhope Ave, Fairhope AL 36532
    Phone: 251-990-4624

  • Baldwin County District Court – Foley Satellite Courthouse

    Address: 201 E Section St, Foley, AL 36535
    Phone: 251-972-6818

  • Bay Minette Municipal Court

    Address: 300 N Hoyle Ave, Bay Minette AL 36507
    Phone: 251-580-2558 Fax: 251-937-0301

  • Daphne Municipal Court

    Address: 1502 Hwy 98, Daphne AL 36526
    Phone: 251-621-2824 Fax: 251-621-3192

  • Elberta Municipal Court

    Address: 13052 Main St, PO Box 277, Elberta AL 36530
    Phone: 251-986-3139 Fax: 251-986-8499

  • Fairhope Municipal Court

    Address: 161 N Section St, PO Box 429, Fairhope AL 36532
    Phone: 251-928-2136

  • Foley Municipal Court

    Address: 200 E Section Ave, Foley AL 36535
    Phone: 251-952-4086 Fax: 251-952-4088

  • Gulf Shores Municipal Court

    Address: 203 Clubhouse Dr, #A, PO Box 299, Gulf Shores AL 36547
    Phone: 251-968-6780 Fax: 251-968-1185

  • Loxley Municipal Court

    Address: 2131 E Relham Dr, PO Box 9, Loxley AL 36551
    Phone: 251-964-6890 Fax: 251-964-6005

  • Orange Beach Municipal Court

    Address: 4480 Orange Beach Blvd, PO Box 529, Orange Beach AL 36561
    Phone: 251-981-2444 Fax: 251-981-4857

  • Robertsdale Municipal Court

    Address: 22647 Racine St, PO Box 429, Robertsdale AL 36567
    Phone: 251-947-8910 Fax: 251-947-2619

  • Silverhill Municipal Court

    Address: 15965 Silverhill Ave, Silverhill AL 36576
    Phone: 251-945-3251

  • Spanish Fort Municipal Court

    Address: 7581 Spanish Fort Blvd, PO Box 7226, Spanish Fort AL 36527
    Phone: 251-626-4884 Fax: 251-626-4880

  • Summerdale Municipal Court

    Address: 502 W Lee Ave, Summerdale AL 36580
    Phone: 251-989-6060 Fax: 251-989-7447

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