Atchison County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Atchison County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Atchison County.
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.
Prosecutor in Atchison County
In Atchison County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Atchison County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Missouri. For the most part, the prosecutor in Atchison County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Atchison County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Atchison County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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.
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.
Jury Deliberations in Atchison County
In Atchison 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.
What happens in Atchison County at an arraignment?
In Atchison 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.
I need help for my Atchison 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 Atchison 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 Atchison 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.
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.
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.
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.
Required Court Appearances in Atchison County
Any required court appearances in Atchison 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.
Atchison County Criminal Court Locations
Atchison County Circuit Court – 4th Judicial Circuit
Address: 400 South Washington Street, PO Box 280, Rock Port, MO 64482
Phone: 660-744-2700 Fax: 660-774-6100
Fairfax Municipal Court
Address: 207 East Main Street, PO Box 315, Fairfax, MO 64446
Phone: 660-686-3520 Fax: 660-686-9525
Rock Port Municipal Court
Address: 500 South Main Street, Rock Port, MO 64482
Phone: 660-744-2636 Fax: 660-744-5553
Tarkio Municipal Court
Address: 602 Main Street, Tarkio, MO 64491
Phone: 660-736-4821 Fax: 660-736-5605