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.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Shelby 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.

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

Shelby County Criminal Court

Defendant Sentencing

At a sentence hearing the judge will inform the defendant of the sentence that will be imposed. This sometimes occurs at the same hearing in which the defendant is found guilty (either by trial or plea agreement). In can also occur at a later date, most often this is due to the complexity of the case where more time is needed to determine the appropriate sentence.

I need help for my Shelby 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 Shelby 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 Shelby 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.

Where will Shelby County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Shelby County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Shelby County.

What happens in Shelby County at an arraignment?

In Shelby 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.

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.

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.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Shelby 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.

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.

Shelby County Required Court Appearances

In Shelby 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.

Prosecutor in Shelby County

In Shelby County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Shelby County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Indiana. For the most part, the prosecutor in Shelby County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

Shelby County Criminal Court Locations

  • Shelby County Circuit Court

    Address: 407 S Harrison St, #111, PO Box 198, Shelbyville IN 46176
    Phone: 317-392-6320 Fax: 317-392-6339

  • Shelby County Superior Court No. 1

    Address: 407 S Harrison St, #111, Shelbyville IN 46176
    Phone: 317-392-6320 Fax: 317-392-6339

  • Shelby County Superior Court No. 2

    Address: 407 S Harrison St, #111, Shelbyville IN 46176
    Phone: 317-392-6320 Fax: 317-392-6339

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