Franklin County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Franklin County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Franklin County.
I need help for my Franklin 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 Franklin 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 Franklin 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.
What happens in Franklin County at an arraignment?
In Franklin 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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Franklin 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.
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.
Sentencing in Franklin County
In Franklin 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.
Franklin County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Franklin County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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.
Franklin County Required Court Appearances
In Franklin 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.
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.
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.
Franklin County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Franklin County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Franklin County. The Franklin 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.
In a jury trial in Franklin 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.
Franklin County Criminal Court Locations
Franklin County Circuit Court
Address: 360 Wilton Circle, Room 157, Winchester, TN 37398
Phone: 931-967-2923 Fax: 931-962-1479
Franklin County Chancery Court
Address: 360 Wilton Circle, Room 196, Winchester, TN 37398
Phone: 931-967-2843 Fax: 931-968-2425
Franklin County General Sessions Court
Address: 360 Wilton Circle, Winchester, TN 37398
Phone: 931-967-2089 Fax: 931-967-9965
Franklin County Juvenile Court
Address: 360 Wilton Circle, Room 165, Winchester, TN 37398
Phone: 931-962-2371 Fax: 931-962-2383
Cowan City Court
Address: 301 East Cumberland, Cowan, TN 37318
Decherd City Court
Address: 1301 West Main Street, PO Box 488, Decherd, TN 37324
Estill Springs City Court
Address: 100 Hudgins Street, PO Drawer 100, Estill Springs, TN 37330
Winchester City Court
Address: 7 South High Street, Winchester, TN 37398