Dickson County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Dickson County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Dickson County.
Who can help me in Dickson County?
For general information about your case the Dickson 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.
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.
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 Dickson County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
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.
Dickson County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Dickson County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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.
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.
Arraignments in Dickson County
During an arraignment in Dickson County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in Dickson County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in Dickson County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
If guilty, who sentences the defendant?
If the defendant is found guilty after the trial, the defendent will be sentenced. In some cases, this can occur at the same hearing the defendant is found guilty in court, in other cases a separate hearing will be required. Often the prosecution will request a particular sentence for the defendant and the judge will determine whether to enforce this sentence or impose a different sentence for the defendant.
Dickson County Required Court Appearances
In Dickson 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.
Who is the prosecutor for Dickson County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Dickson County criminal cases will either be a representative of Dickson County or a representative from Tennessee. 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.
Dickson County Criminal Court Locations
Dickson County Circuit Court
Address: 4 Courthouse Square, PO Box 70, Charlotte, TN 37036
Phone: 615-789-7010 Fax: 615-789-7018
Dickson County Chancery Court
Address: 4 Courthouse Square, PO Box 547, Charlotte, TN 37036
Phone: 615-789-7011 Fax: 615-789-6704
Dickson County General Sessions Court
Address: 1 Court Square, PO Box 217, Charlotte, TN 37036
Phone: 615-789-5414 Fax: 615-789-3456
Dickson County Juvenile Court
Address: 4000 Highway 48 North, Suite 1, Charlotte, TN 37036
Phone: 615-789-0250 Fax: 615-789-0295
Burns City Court
Address: 803 Herchel Street, Burns, TN 37029
Dickson City Court
Address: 202 South Main Street, Dickson, TN 37055
Phone: 615-446-9249 Fax: 615-446-0745
White Bluff Town Court
Address: 52 Graham Street, PO Box 300, White Bluff, TN 37187