Cowley County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Cowley County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Cowley County.
Cowley County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Cowley County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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.
Arraignments in Cowley County
During an arraignment in Cowley County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in Cowley County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in Cowley County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
I need help for my Cowley 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 Cowley 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 Cowley 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Mandatory Appearances in Cowley County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Cowley County, the defendant must appear before the court. In the event of a “Failure to Appear” the judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. Note: not all criminal hearings are mandatory, in a non-mandatory hearing an attorney may appear on your behalf without you being in court.
Who is the prosecutor for Cowley County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Cowley County criminal cases will either be a representative of Cowley 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.
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.
Cowley County Criminal Court Locations
Cowley County District Court
Address: 311 East 9th Avenue, PO Box 472, Winfield, KS 67156
Phone: 620-221-5470 Fax: 620-221-1097
Cowley County District Court
Address: City Hall Building, PO Box 1152, Arkansas City, KS 67005
Phone: 620-441-4520 Fax: 620-442-7213
Arkansas City Municipal Court
Address: 118 West Central, Arkansas City, KS 67005
Phone: 620-441-4408 Fax: 620-441-4426
Burden Municipal Court
Address: 401 North Main, PO Box 37, Burden, KS 67019
Phone: 620-438-2359 Fax: 620-438-2422
Udall Municipal Court
Address: 110 South Main, PO Box 410, Udall, KS 67146
Phone: 620-782-3512 Fax: 620-782-3474
Winfield Municipal Court
Address: 200 East 9th, PO Box 646, Winfield, KS 67156
Phone: 620-221-5500 Fax: 620-221-5593