Dale County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Dale County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Dale County.
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.
Jury Deliberations in Dale County
In Dale County, jury deliberations will take place in a jury trial after the prosecution and defense have presented their cases and rested. At this point, the judge will provide a list of instructions to the jury about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and what verdict options are available for them to decide. The jury will be sent to a private room to discuss the evidence presented in the case and attempt to reach a unaminous decision. When a unaminous decision is reached, the jury will inform the judge that they have reached a verdict and will return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read allowed. In the event that the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury results in a deadlock and a mistrial is declared.
What is a Plea Agreement?
A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.
Can I appeal a guilty verdict?
If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.
Dale County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Dale County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
I need help for my Dale 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 Dale 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 Dale 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.
Mandatory Appearances in Dale County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Dale County, the defendant must appear before the court. In the event of a “Failure to Appear” the judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. Note: not all criminal hearings are mandatory, in a non-mandatory hearing an attorney may appear on your behalf without you being in court.
Right to Jury Trial
For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.
Who is the prosecutor for Dale County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Dale County criminal cases will either be a representative of Dale 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.
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.
Arraignments in Dale County
During an arraignment in Dale 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 Dale 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 Dale County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Dale County Criminal Court Locations
Dale County Circuit Court
Address: 100 E Court Square, PO Box 1350, Ozark AL 36361
Dale County District Court
Address: 100 E Court Square, PO Box 1350, Ozark AL 36361
Clayhatchee Municipal Court
Address: 1 W Main St, Daleville AL 36322
Daleville Municipal Court
Address: 740 S Daleville Ave, Daleville AL 36322
Phone: 334-598-2033 Fax: 334-598-4025
Level Plains Municipal Court
Address: 1708 Joe Bruer Rd, Daleville AL 36322
Midland City Municipal Court
Address: 1385 Hinton Waters Ave, PO Box 69, Midland City, AL 36350
Napier Field Municipal Court
Address: 400 Headquarters St, Napier Field AL 36303
Newton Municipal Court
Address: 209 Oates Dr, PO Box 10, Newton AL 36352
Ozark Municipal Court
Address: 275 N Union Ave, Ozark AL 36360
Pinckard Municipal Court
Address: 1309 AL Hwy 134, Pinckard AL 36371