Montgomery County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Montgomery County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Montgomery County.
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.
I need help for my Montgomery 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 Montgomery 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 Montgomery 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.
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.
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 Montgomery County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Montgomery 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.
Who is the prosecutor for Montgomery County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Montgomery County criminal cases will either be a representative of Montgomery 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.
Arraignments in Montgomery County
During an arraignment in Montgomery 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 Montgomery 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 Montgomery County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
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.
Montgomery County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Montgomery County will take place at the Montgomery County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Montgomery County Criminal Court Locations.
In a jury trial in Montgomery County, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.
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.
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.
Montgomery County Criminal Court Locations
Montgomery County Circuit Court
Address: 211 East 3rd Street, Montgomery City, Missouri 63361
Phone: 573-564-3341 Fax: 573-564-3914
Bellflower Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 96, Bellflower, MO 63333
Phone: 573-564-3713 Fax: 573-564-6158
Middletown Municipal Court
Address: 203 Johnson Street, PO Box 127, Middletown, MO 63359
Montgomery City Municipal Court
Address: 723 North Sturgeon Street, Montgomery City, MO 63361
Phone: 573-564-3160 Fax: 573-564-3803
New Florence Municipal Court
Address: 217 South Main Street, PO Box 70, Florence, MO 63363
Phone: 573-835-2186 Fax: 573-835-2104
Wellsville Municipal Court
Address: 200 West Hudson Street, Wellsville, MO 63384
Phone: 573-684-6161 Fax: 573-684-6161