Fayette County Criminal Court

Fayette County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Fayette County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Fayette County.

Mandatory Appearances in Fayette County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Fayette County, the defendant must appear before the court. In the event of a “Failure to Appear” the judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. Note: not all criminal hearings are mandatory, in a non-mandatory hearing an attorney may appear on your behalf without you being in court.

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 Fayette County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

Fayette County Criminal Court

Fayette County Criminal Court

Arraignments in Fayette County

During an arraignment in Fayette 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 Fayette 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 Fayette County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.

Prosecutor in Fayette County

In Fayette County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Fayette County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Tennessee. For the most part, the prosecutor in Fayette County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

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.

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.

Plea Agreements

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 Fayette 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.

Where will Fayette County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Fayette County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Fayette County.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Fayette County, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.

Sentencing in Fayette County

In Fayette 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.

I need help for my Fayette 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 Fayette 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 Fayette 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.

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.

Fayette County Criminal Court Locations

  • Fayette County Circuit Court

    Address: 705 Justice Drive, Somerville, TN 38068
    Phone: 901-465-5205 Fax: 901-465-5215

  • Fayette County Chancery Court

    Address: PO Box 220, Somerville, TN 38068
    Phone: 901-465-5205 Fax: 901-465-5215

  • Fayette County General Sessions Court

    Address: 705 Justice Drive, Somerville, TN 38068
    Phone: 901-465-5205 Fax: 901-465-5215

  • Fayette County Juvenile Court

    Address: 705 Justice Drive, Somerville, TN 38068
    Phone: 901-465-5216 Fax: 901-465-5285

  • Gallaway City Court

    Address: 604 Watson Drive, PO Box 168, Gallaway, TN 38036
    Phone: 901-867-3333

  • Grand Junction City Court

    Address: 150 North Tippah, PO Box 129, Grand Junction, TN 38039
    Phone: 731-764-2871

  • La Grange City Court

    Address: 20 Main Street, PO Box 621, La Grange, TN 38046
    Phone: 901-878-1246

  • Moscow City Court

    Address: 14075 Highway 57, Moscow, TN 38057
    Phone: 901-877-3585

  • Oakland City Court

    Address: PO Box 521, Oakland, TN 38060
    Phone: 901-465-0070

  • Rossville City Court

    Address: 360 Morrison Road, PO Box 27, Rossville, TN 38066
    Phone: 901-853-4681

  • Somerville City Court

    Address: 13085 North Main Street, PO Box 909, Somerville, TN 38068
    Phone: 901-465-7301

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