Hardeman County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Hardeman County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Hardeman County.
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.
Prosecutor in Hardeman County
In Hardeman County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Hardeman County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Tennessee. For the most part, the prosecutor in Hardeman County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
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.
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.
What happens in Hardeman County at an arraignment?
In Hardeman 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.
I need help for my Hardeman 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 Hardeman 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 Hardeman 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.
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 Hardeman County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
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.
Mandatory Appearances in Hardeman County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Hardeman 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.
Hardeman County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Hardeman County will take place at the Hardeman County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Hardeman County Criminal Court Locations.
Sentencing in Hardeman County
In Hardeman 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.
Hardeman County Criminal Court Locations
Hardeman County Circuit Court
Address: 505 South Main Street, Suite A, Bolivar, TN 38008
Phone: 731-658-6524 Fax: 731-658-4584
Hardeman County Chancery Court
Address: PO Box 45, Bolivar, TN 38008
Phone: 731-658-3142 Fax: 731-658-4580
Hardeman County General Sessions Court
Address: 100 North Main Street, Bolivar, TN 38008
Hardeman County Juvenile Court
Address: 100 North Main Street, Bolivar, TN 38008
Bolivar City Court
Address: 211 West Jackson Street, Bolivar, TN 38008
Hickory Valley City Court
Address: PO Box 39, Hickory Valley, TN 38042
Hornsby City Court
Address: 24075 Highway 64, Hornsby, TN 38044
Middleton City Court
Address: 300 South Main Street, Middleton, TN 38052
Whiteville City Court
Address: 158 East Main Street, Whiteville, TN 38075