DeKalb County Criminal Court

DeKalb County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in DeKalb County. See below for more information about criminal cases in DeKalb County.

Arraignments in DeKalb County

During an arraignment in DeKalb 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 DeKalb 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 DeKalb County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.

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.

DeKalb County Criminal Court

DeKalb County Criminal Court

Appealing a Criminal Conviciton

A defendant may appeal a criminal conviction to an appellate court. In an appeal, the actual trial is not redone, but the appellate court hears arguments that the criminal case was not handled in a legal manner at the original criminal court. The appellate court can either uphold the conviction, or determine that errors were made and may request a retrial, a resentencing of the defendant or that the charges be dismissed.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in DeKalb 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.

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.

DeKalb County Criminal Court locations

Criminal proceedings take place in the DeKalb County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.

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.

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.

Prosecutor in DeKalb County

In DeKalb County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing DeKalb County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Alabama. For the most part, the prosecutor in DeKalb County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

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.

Mandatory Appearances in DeKalb County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in DeKalb 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.

Where can I get help for my DeKalb County criminal case?

The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for DeKalb County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.

DeKalb County Criminal Court Locations

  • DeKalb County Circuit Court

    Address: 300 Grand Ave S, #200, PO Box 681149, Fort Payne AL 35968
    Phone: 256-845-8525 Fax: 256-845-8535

  • DeKalb County District Court

    Address: 300 Grand Ave S, #200, PO Box 681149, Fort Payne AL 35968
    Phone: 256-845-8525 Fax: 256-845-8535

  • Collinsville Municipal Court

    Address: 39 Post Office St, PO Box 390, Collinsville AL 35961
    Phone: 256-524-2135 Fax: 256-524-2121

  • Crossville Municipal Court

    Address: 14521 AL Hwy 68, PO Box 100, Crossville AL 35962
    Phone: 256-528-7121

  • Fort Payne Municipal Court

    Address: 100 Alabama Ave NW, Fort Payne AL 35967
    Phone: 256-845-6728 Fax: 256-844-6081

  • Fyffe Municipal Court

    Address: 1514 Traylor St W, PO Box 8, Fyffe AL 35971
    Phone: 256-623-2222

  • Geraldine Municipal Court

    Address: 41343 AL Hwy 75, PO Box 183, Geraldine AL 35974
    Phone: 256-659-2122

  • Henagar Municipal Court

    Address: 9252 Alabama Hwy 40, PO Box 128, Henagar AL 35978
    Phone: 256-657-7691 Fax: 256-657-5690

  • Ider Municipal Court

    Address: 10793 AL Highway 75, PO Box 72, Ider AL 35981
    Phone: 256-657-5717

  • Mentone Municipal Court

    Address: 5972 AL Hwy 117, PO Box 295, Mentone AL 35984
    Phone: 256-634-4541

  • Powell Municipal Court

    Address: 110 S Broad St, Powell AL 35971
    Phone: 256-638-4283

  • Rainsville Municipal Court

    Address: 70 McCurdy Ave S, Rainsville AL 35986
    Phone: 256-638-6334

  • Sylvania Municipal Court

    Address: 22957 Sylvania Ave S, PO Box 150, Sylvania AL 35988
    Phone: 256-638-2604 Fax: 256-638-7670

  • Valley Head Municipal Court

    Address: 41 Anderson St, PO Box 329, Valley Head AL 35989
    Phone: 256-635-6814

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