Reno County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Reno County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Reno County.
The Right to Counsel
The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.
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 Reno County
During an arraignment in Reno 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 Reno 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 Reno County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Reno County Required Court Appearances
In Reno 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.
Who can help me in Reno County?
For general information about your case the Reno 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.
Prosecutor in Reno County
In Reno County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Reno County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Kansas. For the most part, the prosecutor in Reno County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
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.
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 Reno 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.
Reno County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Reno County will take place at the Reno County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Reno County Criminal Court Locations.
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.
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.
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.
Reno County Criminal Court Locations
Reno County District Court
Address: 206 West 1st Avenue, Hutchinson, KS 67501
Phone: 620-694-2956 Fax: 620-694-2958
Abbyville Municipal Court
Address: 100 North Abby Street, Abbyville, KS 67510
Arlington Municipal Court
Address: 111 West Main Street, PO Box 377, Arlington, KS 67514
Phone: 620-538-2818 Fax: 620-538-4830
Buhler Municipal Court
Address: 219 North Main, PO Box 187, Buhler, KS 67522
Phone: 316-543-2253 Fax: 316-543-6417
Haven Municipal Court
Address: 120 South Kansas Avenue, PO Box 356, Haven, KS 67543
Hutchinson Municipal Court
Address: 210 West 1st, PO Box 1567, Hutchinson, KS 67504
Phone: 620-694-2835 Fax: 620-694-2858
Nickerson Municipal Court
Address: 15 North Nickerson Street, Nickerson, KS 67561
Phone: 620-422-5981 Fax: 620-422-5252
Pretty Prairie Municipal Court
Address: 119 West Main Street, PO Box 68, Pretty Prairie, KS 67570
Phone: 620-459-6392 Fax: 620-459-7354
South Hutchinson Municipal Court
Address: 10 East Blanchard Avenue, South Hutchinson, KS 67505
Phone: 620-560-6251 Fax: 620-560-6281
Sylvia Municipal Court
Address: 121 South Main, PO Box 247, Sylvia, KS 67581
Phone: 620-486-2472 Fax: 620-486-2070
Turon Municipal Court
Address: 501 East Price Street, PO Box 366, Turon, KS 67583
Phone: 620-497-6443 Fax: 620-497-6553