St. Charles County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in St. Charles County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in St. Charles County.
Who is the prosecutor for St. Charles County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for St. Charles County criminal cases will either be a representative of St. Charles 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.
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.
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.
Required Court Appearances in St. Charles County
Any required court appearances in St. Charles 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.
Who can help me in St. Charles County?
For general information about your case the St. Charles 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.
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.
Jury Deliberations in St. Charles County
In St. Charles 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.
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 St. Charles 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.
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.
St. Charles County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In St. Charles County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in St. Charles 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 St. Charles 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.
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 St. Charles County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Where will St. Charles County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of St. Charles County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in St. Charles County.
St. Charles County Criminal Court Locations
St. Charles County Circuit Court
Address: 300 North 2nd Street, Suite 216, St. Charles, MO 63301
Phone: 636-949-3080 Fax: 636-949-7390
Augusta Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 111, Augusta, MO 63332
Cottleville Municipal Court
Address: 5490 5th Street, Cottleville, MO 63304
Dardenne Prairie Municipal Court
Address: 2032 Hanley Road, Dardenne Prairie, MO 63368
Phone: 636-755-5333 Fax: 636-625-0077
Flint Hill Municipal Court
Address: PO Box 196, Flint Hill, MO 63346
Phone: 636-327-4441 Fax: 636-327-4441
Foristell Municipal Court
Address: 121 Mulberry Street, Foristell, MO 63348
Phone: 636-673-2123 Ext.224 Fax: 636-673-2701
Lake St. Louis Municipal Court
Address: 200 Civic Center Drive, Lake St. Louis, MO 63367
Phone: 636-625-1058 Fax: 636-625-6019
New Melle Municipal Court
Address: 145 Almeling Street, PO Box 114, New Melle, MO 63365
Phone: 636-828-4807 Fax: 636-828-4809
O’Fallon Municipal Court
Address: 100 North Main Street, O’Fallon, MO 63366
Phone: 636-379-5415 Fax: 636-240-8766
St. Charles Municipal Court
Address: 1781 Zumbehl Road, St. Charles, MO 63303
St. Peters Municipal Court
Address: 1020 Grand Teton Drive, St. Peters, MO 63376
Phone: 636-279-8280 Fax: 636-928-4482
Weldon Spring Municipal Court
Address: 5401 Independence Road, Weldon Spring, MO 63304
Phone: 636-441-2110 Ext. 108 Fax: 636-441-8495
Wentzville Municipal Court
Address: 1019 Schroeder Creek Blvd, Wentzville, MO 63385