Crawford County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Crawford County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Crawford County.
Right to an attorney
The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Crawford County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
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.
I need help for my Crawford 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 Crawford 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 Crawford 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.
Crawford County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Crawford County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Crawford 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 Crawford 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.
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.
Who is the prosecutor for Crawford County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Crawford County criminal cases will either be a representative of Crawford County or a representative from Missouri. 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.
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.
Mandatory Appearances in Crawford County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Crawford 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.
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.
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.
Crawford County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Crawford County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Crawford County Criminal Court Locations
Crawford County Circuit Court, Division III
Address: 111 3rd Street, Steelville, MO 65565
Phone: 573-775-2149 Fax: 573-775-4010
Crawford County Circuit Court, Divisions I and II
Address: 302 West Main, Steelville, MO 65565
Phone: 573-775-2866 Fax: 573-775-2452
Bourbon Municipal Court
Address: 355 East Pine, PO Box 986, Bourbon, MO 65441
Phone: 573-732-3518 Fax: 573-732-5910
Cuba Municipal Court
Address: 602 South Franklin, PO Box 292, Cuba, MO 65453
Phone: 573-885-0854 Fax: 573-885-1449
Leasburg Municipal Court
Address: 2303 Highway H, PO Box 95, Leasburg, MO 65535
Phone: 573-205-6426 Fax: 573-245-6590