Cheatham County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Cheatham County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Cheatham County.
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.
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.
Cheatham County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Cheatham County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Cheatham County. The Cheatham 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.
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 Cheatham 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.
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.
Required Court Appearances in Cheatham County
Any required court appearances in Cheatham 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.
Cheatham County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Cheatham County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Cheatham 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 Cheatham 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.
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.
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.
Cheatham County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Cheatham County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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.
Where can I get help for my Cheatham 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 Cheatham 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.
Cheatham County Criminal Court Locations
Cheatham County Circuit Court
Address: 100 Public Square, Suite 225, Ashland City, TN 37015
Phone: 615-792-3272 Fax: 615-792-3203
Cheatham County Chancery Court
Address: 100 Public Square, Suite 106, Ashland City, TN 37015
Phone: 615-792-4620 Fax: 615-792-6059
Cheatham County General Sessions Court
Address: 100 Public Square, Suite 223, Ashland City, TN 37015
Phone: 615-792-4866 Fax: 615-792-3203
Cheatham County Juvenile Court
Address: 100 Public Square, Suite 223, Ashland City, TN 37015
Ashland City Municipal Court
Address: 101 Court Street, PO Box 36, Ashland City, TN 37015
Kingston Springs City Court
Address: P.O. Box 256, Kingston Springs, TN 37082
Pleasant View City Court
Address: 1008 Civic Court, Pleasant View, TN 37146
Phone: 615-746-0600 Fax: 615-746-0699