Arkansas County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Arkansas County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Arkansas County.
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.
Sentencing in Arkansas County
In Arkansas 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.
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.
Who is the prosecutor for Arkansas County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Arkansas County criminal cases will either be a representative of Arkansas County or a representative from Arkansas. 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 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.
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.
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.
Where will Arkansas County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Arkansas County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Arkansas County.
Arkansas County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Arkansas County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Arkansas 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 Arkansas 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.
Required Court Appearances in Arkansas County
Any required court appearances in Arkansas 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.
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.
Where can I get help for my Arkansas 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 Arkansas 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.
Arkansas County Criminal Court Locations
Arkansas County Circuit Court – DeWitt
Address: 101 Court Square, DeWitt AR 72042
Phone: 870-946-4219 Fax: 870-946-0171
Arkansas County Circuit Court – Stuttgart
Address: 302 S College, Stuttgart AR 72160
Phone: 870-673-2056 Fax: 870-672-4703
Arkansas County District Court – DeWitt
Address: 120 Court Square, DeWitt AR 72042
Phone: 870-946-2503 Fax: 870-946-1005
Arkansas County District Court – Gillett
Address: PO Box 367, Gillett AR 72055
Phone: 870-548-2541 Fax: 870-548-3121
Arkansas County District Court – St. Charles
Address: 608 Broadway, PO Box 226, St. Charles AR 72140
Phone: 870-282-3425 Fax: 870-282-3016
Arkansas County District Court – Stuttgart
Address: 304 S Maple, Stuttgart AR 72160
Phone: 870-673-7951 Fax: 870-673-6522