Jefferson County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Jefferson County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Jefferson County.
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.
Jefferson County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Jefferson County will take place at the Jefferson County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Jefferson County Criminal Court Locations.
Jefferson County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Jefferson County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Jefferson County. The Jefferson 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.
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 Jefferson 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 Jefferson 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 Jefferson 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.
Required Court Appearances in Jefferson County
Any required court appearances in Jefferson County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.
What happens in Jefferson County at an arraignment?
In Jefferson 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.
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 Deliberations in Jefferson County
In Jefferson 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.
Appealing a Criminal Conviciton
A defendant may appeal a criminal conviction to an appellate court. In an appeal, the actual trial is not redone, but the appellate court hears arguments that the criminal case was not handled in a legal manner at the original criminal court. The appellate court can either uphold the conviction, or determine that errors were made and may request a retrial, a resentencing of the defendant or that the charges be dismissed.
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.
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.
Jefferson County Criminal Court Locations
Jefferson County District Court
Address: 300 Jefferson Street, PO Box 327, Oskaloosa, KS 66066
Phone: 785-863-2461 Fax: 785-863-2369
McLouth Municipal Court
Address: 110 North Union Street, McLouth, KS 66054
Phone: 913-796-6411 Fax: 913-796-6131
Meriden Municipal Court
Address: 103 East Main Street, PO Box 262, Meriden, KS 66512
Phone: 785-484-3450 Fax: 785-484-3707
Nortonville Municipal Court
Address: 407 Main Street, PO Box 177, Nortonville, KS 66060
Phone: 913-886-2060 Fax: 913-886-3070
Oskaloosa Municipal Court
Address: 508 Jefferson Street, PO Box 446, Oskaloosa, KS 66066
Phone: 785-863-2651 Fax: 785-863-2363
Ozawkie Municipal Court
Address: 524 Kiowa Drive, PO Box 120, Ozawkie, KS 66070
Phone: 785-876-2550 Fax: 785-876-2550
Perry Municipal Court
Address: 115 Elm Street, PO Box 724, Perry, KS 66073
Phone: 785-597-5613 Fax: 785-597-5106
Valley Falls Municipal Court
Address: 417 Broadway Street, Valley Falls, KS 66088
Phone: 785-945-6612 Fax: 785-945-3341
Winchester Municipal Court
Address: 411 Spruce Street, PO 123, Winchester, KS 66097
Phone: 913-774-2922 Fax: 913-774-2968