Rice County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Rice County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Rice 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.
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.
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.
Where will Rice County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Rice County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Rice County.
In a jury trial in Rice 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.
I need help for my Rice 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 Rice 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 Rice 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.
Mandatory Appearances in Rice County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Rice 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.
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.
Who is the prosecutor for Rice County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Rice County criminal cases will either be a representative of Rice 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.
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.
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 Rice 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.
Rice County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Rice County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Rice County Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In Rice County a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.
Rice County Criminal Court Locations
Rice County District Court
Address: 101 West Commercial Street, 3rd Floor, Lyons, KS 67554
Phone: 620-257-2383 Fax: 620-257-3826
Bushton Municipal Court
Address: 217 South Main Street, PO Box 194, Bushton KS 67427
Phone: 620-562-3407 Fax: 620-562-3646
Chase Municipal Court
Address: 507 Main Street, PO Box 223, Chase KS 67524
Phone: 620-938-2911 Fax: 620-938-1113
Geneseo Municipal Court
Address: 600 Main Street, PO Box 257, Geneseo KS 67444
Phone: 620-824-6232 Fax: 620-824-6529
Little River Municipal Court
Address: 125 Main Street, PO Box 126, Little River KS 67457
Phone: 620-897-6260 Fax: 620-897-6207
Lyons Municipal Court
Address: 217 East Avenue South, Lyons, KS 67554
Phone: 620-257-2320 Fax: 620-257-3743
Sterling Municipal Court
Address: 114 North Broadway, Sterling, KS 67579
Phone: 620-278-3423 Fax: 620-278-2866