Dickinson County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Dickinson County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Dickinson County.
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.
Dickinson County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Dickinson County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Dickinson County. The Dickinson 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.
Dickinson County Required Court Appearances
In Dickinson 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.
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 Dickinson 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.
Where will Dickinson County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Dickinson County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Dickinson County.
Who can help me in Dickinson County?
For general information about your case the Dickinson 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.
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.
Arraignments in Dickinson County
During an arraignment in Dickinson 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 Dickinson 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 Dickinson County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
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.
Sentencing in Dickinson County
In Dickinson 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.
Jury Deliberations in Dickinson County
In Dickinson 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.
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.
Dickinson County Criminal Court Locations
Dickinson County District Court
Address: 109 East 1st Street, PO Box 127, Abilene, KS 67410
Phone: 785 263-3142 Fax: 785 263-4407
Abilene Municipal Court
Address: 419 North Broadway Street, PO Box 519, Abilene, KS 67410
Phone: 785-263-1213 Fax: 785-263-1523
Chapman Municipal Court
Address: 402 North Marshall, PO Box 321, Chapman KS 67431
Phone: 785-922-6582 Fax: 785-922-7000
Enterprise Municipal Court
Address: 206 South Factory Street, PO Box 245, Enterprise, KS 67441
Phone: 785-263-8323 Fax: 785-263-8132
Herington Municipal Court
Address: 700 South Broadway, Herington, KS 67449
Phone: 785-258-2227 Fax: 785-258-3453
Hope Municipal Court
Address: 113 North Main Street, PO Box 307, Hope, KS 67451
Phone: 785-366-7218 Fax: 785-366-7371
Solomon Municipal Court
Address: 116 West Main Street, PO Box 273, Solomon, KS 67480
Phone: 785-655-3311 Fax: 785-655-3170