Covington County Criminal Court

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

Arraignments in Covington County

During an arraignment in Covington County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in Covington County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in Covington County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.

What if I can’t afford an attorney?

The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.

Covington County Criminal Court

Covington County Criminal Court

Jury by Trial Right

The US Constitution (Article 3 along with the 6th Amendment) ensures an accused defendant the right to a jury trial. This applies to crimes that have a $500 fine or a potential sentence of six months in jail (aka Serious Crimes). This right to trial by jury can also be waived by a defendant.

Required Court Appearances in Covington County

Any required court appearances in Covington 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.

Covington County Criminal Court hearings

Criminal hearings in Covington County will take place at the Covington County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Covington County Criminal Court Locations.

If guilty, who sentences the defendant?

If the defendant is found guilty after the trial, the defendent will be sentenced. In some cases, this can occur at the same hearing the defendant is found guilty in court, in other cases a separate hearing will be required. Often the prosecution will request a particular sentence for the defendant and the judge will determine whether to enforce this sentence or impose a different sentence for the defendant.

Who can help me in Covington County?

For general information about your case the Covington County court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.

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.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Covington County you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in a plea agreement.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Covington County, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.

Who is the prosecutor for Covington County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Covington County criminal cases will either be a representative of Covington 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.

Burden of Proof Requirement

In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Covington County Criminal Court Locations

  • Covington County Circuit Court

    Address: 1-K N Court Square, Andalusia AL 36420
    Phone: 334-428-2520 Fax: 334-428-2531

  • Covington County District Court

    Address: 1-K N Court Square, Andalusia AL 36420
    Phone: 334-428-2520 Fax: 334-428-2531

  • Andalusia Municipal Court

    Address: 102 Opp Ave, PO Box 429, Andalusia AL 36420
    Phone: 334-222-3311 Fax: 334-427-7082

  • Florala Municipal Court

    Address: 22654 Wall Ave, PO Box 351, Florala AL 36442
    Phone: 334-858-2791

  • Gantt Municipal Court

    Address: 28826 Commerce St, PO Box 8, Gantt AL 36038
    Phone: 334-388-4786 Fax: 334-388-4391

  • Lockhart Municipal Court

    Address: 1548 Chippeway St, Lockhart AL 36455
    Phone: 334-858-6744

  • Opp Municipal Court

    Address: 101 N Main St, PO Box 610, Opp AL 36467
    Phone: 334-493-1831 Fax: 334-493-5231

  • Red Level Municipal Court

    Address: 29098 Smiley St, PO Box 236, Red Level AL 36474
    Phone: 334-469-5351 Fax: 334-469-9091

  • River Falls Municipal Court

    Address: 24681 Firehouse Rd, PO Box 17, River Falls AL 36476
    Phone: 334-222-3510

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