Franklin County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Franklin County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Franklin County.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Franklin County you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in 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 Franklin County
In Franklin 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.
Where can I get help for my Franklin 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 Franklin 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.
Franklin County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Franklin County will take place at the Franklin County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Franklin County Criminal Court Locations.
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 Franklin County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
What is the Burden of Proof?
The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.
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.
Mandatory Appearances in Franklin County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Franklin 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 Deliberations in Franklin County
In Franklin 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.
Arraignments in Franklin County
During an arraignment in Franklin County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in Franklin County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in Franklin County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Franklin County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Franklin County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Franklin County. The Franklin County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.
Franklin County Criminal Court Locations
Franklin County Circuit Court – Judicial Circuit 20
Address: 401 East Main Street, Union, MO 63084
Berger Municipal Court
Address: 404 Rosalie Avenue, Berger, MO 63014
Gerald Municipal Court
Address: 106 East Fitzgerald, PO Box 59, Gerald, MO 63037
Phone: 573-764-3340 Fax: 573-764-2987
New Haven Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 236, New Haven, MO 63068
Phone: 573-237-2349 Fax: 573-237-4696
Pacific Municipal Court
Address: 300 Hoven Drive, Pacific, MO 63069
Phone: 636-257-4553 Fax: 636-257-7017
St. Clair Municipal Court
Address: 1 Paul Parks Drive, St. Clair, MO 63077
Phone: 636-629-5194 Fax: 636-629-6467
Sullivan Municipal Court
Address: 210 West Washington Street, Sullivan, MO 63080
Phone: 573-468-5627 Fax: 573-468-8207
Union Municipal Court
Address: 500 East Locust Street, Union, MO 63084
Phone: 636-583-8436 Fax: 636-583-4091
Washington Municipal Court
Address: 301 Jefferson Street, Washington, MO 63090
Phone: 636-390-1060 Fax: 636-390-2455