Henry County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Henry County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Henry County.
Required Court Appearances in Henry County
Any required court appearances in Henry 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.
What happens in Henry County at an arraignment?
In Henry 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 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.
Henry County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Henry County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Prosecutor in Henry County
In Henry County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Henry County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Missouri. For the most part, the prosecutor in Henry County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
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 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.
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.
A Plea Agreement, sometimes known as a Plea Bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant, where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest often in exchange for a lesser charge or lighter recommended sentence. A large majority of criminal cases end in a plea agreement. In Henry County you can inform your attorney to negotiate with the prosecution to attempt to come to a plea agreement, but this is dependent upon the charge severity and also the prosecutors willingness to accept a plea deal.
Can I appeal a guilty verdict?
If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.
Who can help me in Henry County?
For general information about your case the Henry 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.
Henry County Criminal Court Locations
Henry County Circuit Court
Address: 100 West Franklin, PO Box 487, Clinton, MO 64735
Phone: 660-885-7230 Fax: 660-885-8247
Calhoun Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 97, Calhoun, MO 65323
Clinton Municipal Court
Address: 101 East Ohio Street, Clinton, MO 64735
Phone: 660-885-3485 Fax: 660-885-7096
Deepwater Municipal Court
Address: 259 SW Highway 52, Deepwater, MO 64740
Montrose Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 487, Montrose, MO 64735
Urich Municipal Court
Address: Box 34, Urich, MO 64788
Windsor Municipal Court
Address: 110 West Benton Street, Windsor, MO 65360
Phone: 660-647-3512 Fax: 660-647-3402