Woodruff County Criminal Court

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

Woodruff County Criminal Court hearings

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

Woodruff County Required Court Appearances

In Woodruff 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.

Woodruff County Criminal Court

Woodruff County Criminal Court

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.

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.

Woodruff County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in Woodruff County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Woodruff County. The Woodruff 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.

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.

Who can help me in Woodruff County?

For general information about your case the Woodruff 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.

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.

The Right to Counsel

The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.

What happens in Woodruff County at an arraignment?

In Woodruff County the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Woodruff County you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in a plea agreement.

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.

Woodruff County Criminal Court Locations

  • Woodruff County Circuit Court

    Address: 500 N 3rd St, PO Box 492, Augusta AR 72006
    Phone: 870-347-2391 Fax: 870-347-8703

  • Woodruff County District Court – Augusta

    Address: PO Box 381, Augusta AR 72006
    Phone: 870-347-2790 Fax: 870-347-2436

  • Woodruff County District Court – Cotton Plant

    Address: PO Box 381, Augusta AR 72006
    Phone: 870-347-2790 Fax: 870-347-2436

  • Woodruff County District Court – McCrory

    Address: PO Box 897, McCrory AR 72101
    Phone: 870-731-2041 Fax: 870-731-5159

  • Woodruff County District Court – Patterson

    Address: PO Box 40, Patterson AR 72123
    Phone: 870-731-5057 Fax: 870-347-2436

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