Craighead County Criminal Court

Craighead County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Craighead County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Craighead 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 Craighead County

In Craighead 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.

Craighead County Criminal Court

Craighead County Criminal Court

What is the Burden of Proof?

The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

Who can help me in Craighead County?

For general information about your case the Craighead County court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.

Craighead County Required Court Appearances

In Craighead 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.

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 Craighead County?

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

Jury Deliberations in Craighead County

In Craighead 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.

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.

Craighead County Arraignments

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

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 Craighead 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.

Craighead County Criminal Court hearings

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

Craighead County Criminal Court Locations

  • Craighead County Circuit Court

    Address: 511 S Main St, #200, Jonesboro AR 72401
    Phone: 870-933-4530 Fax: 870-933-4534

  • Craighead County Circuit Court

    Address: 107 Cobean Blvd, PO Box 537, Lake City AR 72437
    Phone: 870-237-4342 Fax: 870-237-8174

  • Craighead County District Court – Jonesboro

    Address: 410 W Washington, Jonesboro AR 72401
    Phone: 870-933-4508 Fax: 870-933-4582

  • Craighead County District Court – Lake City

    Address: 107 Cobean Blvd, PO Box 537, Lake City AR 72437
    Phone: 870-237-4142 Fax: 870-237-8174

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