Cherokee County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Cherokee County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Cherokee County.
Who is the prosecutor for Cherokee County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Cherokee County criminal cases will either be a representative of Cherokee County or a representative from Kansas. 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.
I need help for my Cherokee 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 Cherokee 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 Cherokee 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.
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.
Cherokee County Required Court Appearances
In Cherokee 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.
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.
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.
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.
Right to an attorney
The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Cherokee County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Cherokee County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Cherokee County will take place at the Cherokee County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Cherokee County Criminal Court Locations.
What happens in Cherokee County at an arraignment?
In Cherokee 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.
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 Cherokee 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.
Jury Deliberations in Cherokee County
In Cherokee 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.
Cherokee County Criminal Court Locations
Cherokee County District Court
Address: 110 West Maple Street, PO Box 189, Columbus, KS 66725
Phone: 620-429-3880 Fax: 620-429-1130
Baxter Springs Municipal Court
Address: 121 West 11th Street, PO Box 577, Baxter Springs, KS 66713
Phone: 620-856-3825 Fax: 620-856-5483
Columbus Municipal Court
Address: 300 East Maple, Columbus, KS 66725
Phone: 620-429-1332 Fax: 620-429-1334
Galena Municipal Court
Address: 211 West 7th Street, Galena, KS 66739
Phone: 620-783-2454 Fax: 620-783-2648
Scammon Municipal Court
Address: 202 East 3rd, PO Box 205, Scammon, KS 66773
Phone: 620-479-2321 Fax: 620-479-6105
Weir Municipal Court
Address: 306 North Washington, PO Box 78, Weir, KS 66781
Phone: 620-396-8214 Fax: 620-396-8297