Cape Girardeau County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Cape Girardeau County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Cape Girardeau County.
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.
Prosecutor in Cape Girardeau County
In Cape Girardeau County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Cape Girardeau County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Missouri. For the most part, the prosecutor in Cape Girardeau County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with 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.
Required Court Appearances in Cape Girardeau County
Any required court appearances in Cape Girardeau 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.
Who can help me in Cape Girardeau County?
For general information about your case the Cape Girardeau 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.
Jury Deliberations in Cape Girardeau County
In Cape Girardeau 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 Cape Girardeau County at an arraignment?
In Cape Girardeau 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.
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.
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.
Sentencing in Cape Girardeau County
In Cape Girardeau County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.
Cape Girardeau County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Cape Girardeau County will take place at the Cape Girardeau County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Cape Girardeau County Criminal Court Locations.
Cape Girardeau County Criminal Court Locations
Cape Girardeau Circuit Court
Address: 44 North Lorimier, Suite 1, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
Phone: 573-331-2386 Fax: 573-331-2565
Cape Girardeau Circuit Court
Address: 100 Court Street, Suite 301, Jackson, MO 63755
Phone: 573-243-1755 Fax: 573-204-2405
Cape Girardeau Municipal Court
Address: 401 Independence, Cape Girardeau, MO 63703
Phone: 573-339-6323 Fax: 573-339-6308
Delta Municipal Court
Address: 211 East State Street, Delta, MO 63744
Gordonville Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 83, Jackson, MO 63752
Jackson Municipal Court
Address: 101 Court Street, Jackson, MO 63755
Phone: 573-204-0618 Fax: 573-243-8292