Shelby County Criminal Court

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

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.

Right to an attorney

The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Shelby County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

Shelby County Criminal Court

Shelby County Criminal Court

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.

Shelby County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Shelby County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Shelby 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 Shelby 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.

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.

Sentencing in Shelby County

In Shelby County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.

Where can I get help for my Shelby 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 Shelby 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.

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.

Shelby County Criminal Court locations

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

Required Court Appearances in Shelby County

Any required court appearances in Shelby 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.

Shelby County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in Shelby County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Shelby County. The Shelby County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.

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.

Shelby County Criminal Court Locations

  • Shelby County Circuit Court

    Address: 112 N Main St, PO Box 1810, Columbiana AL 35051
    Phone: 205-669-3760 Fax: 205-669-3786

  • Shelby County District Court

    Address: 112 N Main St, PO Box 1810, Columbiana AL 35051
    Phone: 205-669-3760 Fax: 205-669-3786

  • Alabaster Municipal Court

    Address: 1953 Municipal Way, #100, Alabaster AL 35007
    Phone: 205-664-6835

  • Calera Municipal Court

    Address: 10947 Hwy 25, Calera AL 35040
    Phone: 205-668-3801 Fax: 205-668-3624

  • Columbiana Municipal Court

    Address: 107 Mildred St, Columbiana AL 35051
    Phone: 205-669-5806

  • Helena Municipal Court

    Address: 816 Highway 52 E, Helena AL 35080
    Phone: 205-663-2161 Fax: 205-663-9276

  • Montevallo Municipal Court

    Address: 545 Main St, Montevallo AL 35115
    Phone: 205-665-2555 x102

  • Pelham Municipal Court

    Address: 32 Philip Davis St, PO Box 1419, Pelham AL 35124
    Phone: 205-620-6407

  • Vincent Municipal Court

    Address: 25 Florey St, PO Box 49, Vincent AL 35178
    Phone: 205-672-2261

  • Wilton Municipal Court

    Address: 100 Depot St, PO Box 159, Wilton AL 35187
    Phone: 205-665-2021 Fax: 205-665-2080

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