Johnson County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Johnson County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Johnson County.
What happens in Johnson County at an arraignment?
In Johnson 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.
Sentencing in Johnson County
In Johnson 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.
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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Johnson 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.
Jury Deliberations in Johnson County
In Johnson 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.
I need help for my Johnson 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 Johnson 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 Johnson 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.
Where will Johnson County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Johnson County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Johnson County.
Required Court Appearances in Johnson County
Any required court appearances in Johnson 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.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.
Right to Jury Trial
For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.
Johnson County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Johnson County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Johnson County. The Johnson County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.
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.
Johnson County Criminal Court Locations
Johnson County District Court
Address: PO Box 416, Tecumseh, NE 68450
Phone: 402-335-6300 Fax: 402-335-6311
County Court of Johnson County
Address: 4th & Broadway Street, PO Box 285, Tecumseh, NE 68450
Phone: 402-335-6313 Fax: 402-335-6314