St. Clair County Criminal Court

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

Who is the prosecutor for St. Clair County?

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

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in St. Clair 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.

St. Clair County Criminal Court

St. Clair County Criminal Court

St. Clair County Required Court Appearances

In St. Clair County, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.

Sentencing in St. Clair County

In St. Clair 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.

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.

St. Clair County Arraignments

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

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.

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 St. Clair 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.

I need help for my St. Clair 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 St. Clair 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 St. Clair 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.

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.

St. Clair County Criminal Court hearings

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

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.

St. Clair County Criminal Court Locations

  • St. Clair County Circuit Court

    Address: 1815 Cogswell Ave, #217, Pell City AL 35125
    Phone: 205-338-2511

  • St. Clair County Circuit Court

    Address: 100 6th Ave, #400, Ashville AL 35953
    Phone: 205-594-2184

  • St. Clair County District Court

    Address: 100 6th Ave, #400, Ashville AL 35953
    Phone: 205-594-2184

  • St. Clair County District Court

    Address: 1815 Cogswell Ave, #217, Pell City AL 35125
    Phone: 205-338-2511

  • Argo Municipal Court

    Address: 100 Blackjack Rd, Argo AL 35173
    Phone: 205-352-2120 Fax: 205-352-2118

  • Ashville Municipal Court

    Address: 211 8th St, PO Box 70, Ashville AL 35953
    Phone: 205-594-4151

  • Margaret Municipal Court

    Address: 125 School St, PO Box 309, Margaret AL 35112
    Phone: 205-629-5501

  • Moody Municipal Court

    Address: 670 Park Ave, #201, Moody AL 35004
    Phone: 205-640-0313

  • Odenville Municipal Court

    Address: 183 Alabama St, Odenville AL 35120
    Phone: 205-629-6366

  • Pell City Municipal Court

    Address: 1905 1st Ave N, Pell City AL 35125
    Phone: 205-338-2244

  • Ragland Municipal Court

    Address: 220 Fredia St, #102, Ragland AL 35131
    Phone: 205-472-0400

  • Riverside Municipal Court

    Address: Phone: 205-338-7692, x102

  • Springville Municipal Court

    Address: 6327 US Hwy 11, PO Box 919, Springville AL 35146
    Phone: 205-467-6133

  • Steele Municipal Court

    Address: 4025 Pope Ave, PO Box 425, Steele AL 35987
    Phone: 256-538-8145

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