Pulaski County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Pulaski County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Pulaski County.
What happens in Pulaski County at an arraignment?
In Pulaski 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.
Where can I get help for my Pulaski 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 Pulaski 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.
Pulaski County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Pulaski County will take place at the Pulaski County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Pulaski County Criminal Court Locations.
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.
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.
Burden of Proof Requirement
In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
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.
Pulaski County Required Court Appearances
In Pulaski County, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.
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 Pulaski County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
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.
Prosecutor in Pulaski County
In Pulaski County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Pulaski County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Missouri. For the most part, the prosecutor in Pulaski County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Sentencing in Pulaski County
In Pulaski 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.
Pulaski County Criminal Court Locations
Pulaski County Circuit Court
Address: 301 Historic Route 66 East, Waynesville, MO 65583
Phone: 573-774-4755 Fax: 573-774-6967
Crocker Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 116, Crocker, MO 65486
Phone: 573-736-5327 Fax: 573-736-5438
Dixon Municipal Court
Address: 303 South Elm, PO Box 177, Dixon, MO 65459
Phone: 573-759-3427 Fax: 573-759-7864
Richland Municipal Court
Address: 201 South Chestnut Avenue, PO Box 798, Richland, MO 65556
Phone: 573-765-3257 Fax: 573-765-3093
St. Robert Municipal Court
Address: 194 Eastlawn Avenue, Suite A, St. Robert, MO 65584
Phone: 573-451-2000 Fax: 573-451-2083
Waynesville Municipal Court
Address: 601 Historic 66 West, Waynesville, MO 65583
Phone: 573-774-6158 Fax: 573-774-5647