Harvey County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Harvey County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Harvey County.
Harvey County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Harvey County will take place at the Harvey County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Harvey County Criminal Court Locations.
What happens in Harvey County at an arraignment?
In Harvey 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.
Jury by Trial Right
The US Constitution (Article 3 along with the 6th Amendment) ensures an accused defendant the right to a jury trial. This applies to crimes that have a $500 fine or a potential sentence of six months in jail (aka Serious Crimes). This right to trial by jury can also be waived by a defendant.
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.
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.
Harvey County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Harvey County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Harvey County. The Harvey 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.
In a jury trial in Harvey 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.
Where can I get help for my Harvey County criminal case?
The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Harvey County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.
Mandatory Appearances in Harvey County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Harvey 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.
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.
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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Harvey 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.
Harvey County Criminal Court Locations
Harvey County District Court
Address: 800 North Main Street, PO Box 665, Newton, KS 67114
Phone: 316-284-6890 Fax: 316-283-4601
Burrton Municipal Court
Address: 203 North Burrton Avenue, PO Box 100, Burrton, KS 67020
Phone: 620-463-4545 Fax: 620-463-2076
Halstead Municipal Court
Address: 303 Main Street, PO Box 312, Halstead, KS 67056
Phone: 316-835-2266 Fax: 316-835-3759
Hesston Municipal Court
Address: 115 East Smith, Hesston, KS 67062
Phone: 620-327-2020 Fax: 620-327-2236
Newton Municipal Court
Address: 201 East 6th Street, PO Box 426, Newton, KS 67114
Phone: 316-284-6053 Fax: 316-284-6102
North Newton Municipal Court
Address: 2601 North Main, PO Box 87, North Newton, KS 67117
Phone: 316-283-7633 Fax: 316-283-6660
Sedgwick Municipal Court
Address: 511 North Commercial, PO Box 131, Sedgwick, KS 67135
Phone: 316-772-5151 Fax: 316-772-5592
Walton Municipal Court
Address: 122 Main Street, PO Box 200, Walton, KS 67151
Phone: 620-837-3252 Fax: 620-837-3252