Dunklin County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Dunklin County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Dunklin County.
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.
Where can I get help for my Dunklin County criminal case?
The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Dunklin County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.
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.
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.
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.
What happens in Dunklin County at an arraignment?
In Dunklin 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.
The Right to Trial by Jury
The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by a jury. This is applicable for when the crime can carry a sentence of 6 months in jail OR a $500 fine, these are known as “Serious Crimes”. The defendant can also waive their right to a speedy and public trial.
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 Dunklin County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Dunklin County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Dunklin County.
Mandatory Appearances in Dunklin County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Dunklin 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.
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.
Who is the prosecutor for Dunklin County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Dunklin County criminal cases will either be a representative of Dunklin 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.
Dunklin County Criminal Court Locations
Dunklin County Circuit Court
Address: PO Box 567, Kennett, MO 63857
Phone: 573-888-5322 (Civil) Fax: 573-888-0319
Arbyrd Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 338, Arbyrd, MO 63821
Phone: 573-654-3834 Fax: 573-654-3634
Campbell Municipal Court
Address: 302 West Grand Avenue, Campbell, MO 63933
Phone: 573-246-2541 Fax: 573-246-3319
Cardwell Municipal Court
Address: 119 East Loeb Street, PO Box 216, Cardwell, MO 63829
Phone: 573-654-2112 Fax: 573-654-9654
Clarkton Municipal Court
Address: 201 South Main Street, PO Box 98, Clarkton, MO 63837
Phone: 573-448-3728 Fax: 573-448-8966
Holcomb Municipal Court
Address: 214 Main Street, PO Box 100, Holcomb, MO 63852
Phone: 573-792-3610 Fax: 573-792-3782
Hornersville Municipal Court
Address: 300 Main Street, PO Box 219, Hornersville, MO 63855
Phone: 573-737-2616 Fax: 573-737-2704
Kennett Municipal Court
Address: 200 Cedar Street, Kennett, MO 63857
Phone: 573-888-6340 Fax: 573-888-4011
Malden Municipal Court
Address: 201 South Madison, Malden, MO 63863
Phone: 573-276-4214 Fax: 573-276-5983
Senath Municipal Court
Address: 301 West Commercial Street, PO Box 609, Senath, MO 63876
Phone: 573-738-2346 Fax: 573-738-3201