Morgan County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Morgan County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Morgan County.
In a jury trial in Morgan 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.
Morgan County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Morgan County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Morgan 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 Morgan 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.
Prosecutor in Morgan County
In Morgan County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Morgan County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Missouri. For the most part, the prosecutor in Morgan County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Morgan 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.
I need help for my Morgan 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 Morgan 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 Morgan 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.
Sentencing in Morgan County
In Morgan 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.
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.
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.
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.
Morgan County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Morgan County will take place at the Morgan County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Morgan County Criminal Court Locations.
Mandatory Appearances in Morgan County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Morgan 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.
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.
Morgan County Criminal Court Locations
Morgan County Circuit Court
Address: 211 East Newton Street, Suite 4, Versailles, MO 65084
Laurie Municipal Court
Address: 147 South Main, PO Box 1515, Laurie, MO 65038
Phone: 573-374-4871 Fax: 573-374-5093
Stover Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 370, Stover, MO 65078
Phone: 573-377-4510 Fax: 573-377-2521
Versailles Municipal Court
Address: 104 North Fisher, Versailles, MO 65084
Phone: 573-378-4634 Fax: 573-378-4631